Oregon's Mario Cristobal Says He Hasn't Been Contacted About Auburn's HC Vacancy

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2020

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal walks along the sideline during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against Washington State in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Young Kwak/Associated Press

Oregon head football coach Mario Cristobal said Monday that Auburn hasn't directly contacted him about its head coaching vacancy.

"We seem to get a lot of rumors at this time of the year," Cristobal told reporters. "This is what I can say: I can say that I haven't been contacted, but I don't know if my agent's been contacted, and I talk to him every single day."

Cristobal is one of several coaches who has been linked to Auburn since it fired Gus Malzahn on Sunday.

Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze, Louisiana head coach Billy Napier, UAB head coach Bill Clark, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn are among the other outside names being speculated upon.

That said, interim coach Kevin Steele, who's served as the Tigers' defensive coordinator since 2016, has emerged as the early favorite to fill the roll full time, per John Talty and Matt Zenitz of AL.com.

Although Cristobal didn't confirm any contact with Auburn as of Monday, he did note talks about a Ducks contract extension are ongoing:

"I trust Phil Knight, I trust Rob Mullens, I trust our administration, and I trust the people here at Oregon. As you guys know, we've been working on something when the pandemic first hit, then things kind of stalled, and things have picked back up. So, I've always been transparent with every single one of you, and I will continue to do that, so hopefully the next couple of days we'll have some more stuff to talk about as it relates to that. So, hopefully I can explain to you exactly where things are with me."

Cristobal has guided Oregon to a 24-9 record across three-plus seasons. The Ducks went 12-2 during the 2019 season, including a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin.

They finished second in the Pac-12 North this year but will still appear in the conference title game against USC on Friday night after Washington had to withdraw because of COVID-19 concerns.


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