College Football

Oregon Searches For Next Head Coach

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With Mario Cristobal officially gone to Miami. The Oregon Ducks begin their search for their next head coach. While the Ducks have yet to name an interim head coach, the team has begun their search for the next leader, and it begins with a nationwide search.

“We appreciate all of Mario’s accomplishments and hard work here at Oregon, and we wish him and his family all the best in their next chapter,” said Mullens. “The University of Oregon is a prestigious academic institution with a football program that is well-positioned for continued success in the future, and the search is underway to find another excellent football coach to lead and support our student-athletes moving forward.”

Though it shows great promise that many of the players appear to be staying the course, and not quitting on the University of Oregon. Among these players are:

As well as Byron Cardwell and many other talented players on the roster. According to a report, Mario Cristobal, even though, on his way out has communicated with recruits that Oregon is still the best choice for them.

With that being said, No matter who the ducks bring in to be their next head coach, they will more than likely inherit a large amount of talent.

So Who Do the Ducks Go To For Their Next Head Coach:

The Oregon Ducks have a few candidates for their new vacancy that have a connection to the University.


Kelly has a $9 Million buyout for UCLA, but as of right now appears to be coaching the Bruins at their upcoming bowl game. They are set to face N.C. State in the Holiday Bowl at Petco Park. Chip had a lot of success as the Ducks head coach from 2009-12 when the fast-paced offense became revolutionary. He then left for the NFL, didn’t do so well, and returned to CFB via UCLA where he’s 18-25. Moving back to Oregon would be beneficial for Kelly, though if he stays with the Bruins he will struggle with recruiting due to Lincoln Riley signing on at USC.


The Former Duck grew up in Eugene and attended Oregon from 1996-99. If Wilcox were to be hired on as the new coach, there is a chance that he could reunite with Tim DeRuyter who was a co-defensive coordinator at Cal. Since taking over as the head coach at Cal, Wilcox has led them to a 26 – 28 record which included two bowl games.


Helfrich took over as the head coach of the Ducks when Chip Kelly left. Helfrich was fired after a 4-8 season with the Ducks in 2016, though he recruited Justin Herbert, and was successful as OC and QB coach, so maybe a return to that role is in store as well. After being fired from Oregon, he went on to be the Offensive Coordinator for the Chicago Bears from 2018-2019 and has served as an analyst for Fox Sports since then.


Recently stepping down as the head coach up north at Washington, Petersen has some ties to the University of Oregon and the Oregon community and throughout the Northwest. He served as the Quarterbacks coach at Portland State (1993-94), then the Wide Receivers (1995-2000), before moving on to being the offensive coordinator at Boise State, then head coach, and after going to Washington. Petersen has a record of 147-38 as head coach.


If the Ducks are looking to stay within the organization, one man who they could promote would be the Associate Head Coach- Defense/ Co-Defensive Coordinator/ Run Game Coordinator/ Defensive Line. He has served on the coaching staff since Willie Taggart was the head coach. Salave’a played eight years in the NFL, and is a member of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. It’s been rumored that he is a big influence with the players in the locker room.

Coaches With a Slight Connection:


Sitake is a rising star as a coach, who went undefeated against the Pac-12 this season. Sitake has been a Defensive Coordinator for both Oregon State and Utah in the past before being named the head coach of BYU, where he has led them to a 21-3 record in the past two seasons. The Cougars were ranked as high as 10th this season. Oregon has a history of decorated Polynesian players (Heisman winner Marcus Mariota for one, and Outland Trophy winner Penei Sewell) and they currently have Joe Salave’a on the staff.

Outside Coaches:


Campbell’s Cyclones beat Oregon in the Fiesta bowl last season. He had Iowa State ranked as high as seven this season. The former Defensive Lineman is 77-48 as a head coach.

Oregon Coaching Odds:

Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Who will be the next full-time Oregon football coach?

  • Chip Kelly +150
  • Kalani Sitake +400
  • Justin Wilcox +500
  • Bryan Harsin +700
  • Chris Petersen +800
  • Matt Campbell +1000
  • Dave Aranda +1500
  • Bill O’Brien +1500
  • Andy Avalos +1800

There are a lot of possible options whether the Ducks choose to stay in house, go with a little bit of familiarity, or hire somebody with no connections to the Program.


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