PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon head football coach Mario Cristobal has accepted an offer to be the head coach at his alma mater, the University of Miami.
Miami fired head coach Manny Diaz on Monday morning. Cristobal reportedly told his players during a team meeting Monday morning that he was leaving Oregon to take the head coaching position at Miami, according to reports by Oregonian columnist John Canzano, Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman and longtime college football reporter Brett McMurphy.
Cristobal, 51, is a Miami native. He was an offensive lineman for the Hurricanes from 1989 to 1992 and won two national championships with Miami before serving as an assistant coach in different capacities.
On Monday afternoon, University of Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens announced Bryan McClendon will be interim head coach for the upcoming bowl game. McClendon is in his second season with the Ducks as a pass game coordinator and wide receivers coach.
“We appreciate Coach McClendon agreeing to accept a leadership role in providing the best possible bowl experience for our student-athletes,” Mullens said in a statement. “His previous experience as an interim head coach is valuable for our program as we prepare for the Alamo Bowl, and we are grateful for his willingness to step up and assume this responsibility for Oregon football.”
Over the weekend, Cristobal was reportedly offered a 10-year, $85 million contract extension to stay at Oregon. But Canzano reported that a source told him the offer "was pulled off the table when Mario didn't sign it and got on the plane" for a recruiting trip following Friday's 38-10 loss to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game.
Cristobal had a 35-13 coaching record at Oregon, winning two Pac-12 titles in four seasons with the Ducks. He led Oregon to four bowl games in his four full seasons, including two appearances in New Year's Six games. He never led the Ducks to the College Football Playoff.
His final regular season in Oregon ended in disappointing fashion. The Ducks climbed as high as No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings, but lost twice to Utah in the final three weeks by a combined score of 76-17.
Overall, Cristobal has a 62-60 coaching record. Before coaching the Ducks, he had a 27-47 record in six seasons at Florida International.