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Mario Cristobal, Oregon Agree to New 6-Year, $27.3M Contract Amid Auburn Rumors

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 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

The University of Oregon and head football coach Mario Cristobal agreed to a six-year, $27.3 million contract extension Thursday, according to Tyson Alger of The Athletic.

Per Matt Prehm of 247Sports, the extension will run through the 2026 season and was officially approved by the University of Oregon Board of Trustees.

Prior to the extension, Cristobal was named by AL.com's Tom Green, Matt Zenitz and John Talty as a candidate for the Auburn head coaching job. AL.com reported that Cristobal was interested in the Auburn opening following the firing of Gus Malzahn.

Cristobal is in the midst of his third full season as head coach at Oregon. Overall, he has accrued a 24-9 record, and he led the Ducks to bowl games in both 2018 and 2019.

Oregon is just 3-2 this season while playing a shortened Pac-12 schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the modest record, the Ducks will face undefeated USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday.

The Ducks are a replacement for Washington, which cannot play for the Pac-12 title because of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the program.

Last season, Oregon posted its best record under Cristobal and its best overall record since 2014. With current Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert under center, the Ducks went 12-2 and beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

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Prior to his time at Oregon, Cristobal was head coach at Florida International for six seasons from 2007-12.

The Panthers went just 1-11 in their first season under Cristobal, but they steadily improved and finished with a winning record and appeared in bowl games in both 2010 and 2011.

Cristobal was then assistant head coach and offensive line coach at Alabama from 2013-16 before becoming offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator at Oregon in 2017.

After Willie Taggart was fired as head coach at Oregon, Cristobal was named interim head coach and coached one game under that tag before getting promoted to the full-time gig.

Oregon experienced a bit of a downturn for a couple of years, but the 50-year-old Cristobal has the Ducks back in the mix as perennial Pac-12 title contenders.

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