In this unusual year for coaching changes around the country, the Oregon Ducks find themselves the latest team looking for a new face to lead their football program.
On Monday, Mario Cristobal left Eugene to take his talents to the Miami Hurricanes after going 35-13 and winning two Pac-12 titles (2019, 2020) during his four seasons with the Ducks. He also guided Oregon to a third consecutive Pac-12 championship appearance this season.
Now the Ducks are left looking for their fifth coach in 11 seasons. Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said he would likely have a candidate before early National Signing Day, which will be held on Dec. 15-17.
“Our priority is finding the right person,” Mullen said to reporters Monday. “With signing day right around the corner, that does add an element to it. But at the end of the day, this is about a long-term relationship.
“We are going to find the right person. We’ll move as expeditiously as possible but be centered on finding the right person.”
MORE: How firing Manny Diaz, hiring Mario Cristobal could cost Miami an additional $27.7 million
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So who could be on the shortlist of candidates Oregon looks at during its latest coaching search?
Dave Aranda, Baylor head coach
In his first season in Waco in 2020, Aranda finished with a disappointing 2-7 campaign, the Bears’ second-worst season since 2000. However, his second season at Baylor proved to be one of the most successful in school history.
On Saturday, Aranda led Baylor over Oklahoma State, 21-16, on a goal-line stand to win the program’s first Big 12 Championship game. The Bears were the first non-Sooners team to win the Big 12 since 2014.
While Aranda has expressed he’s committed to the Baylor program, Oregon could attempt to change his mind by demonstrating what the…