Oregon football fans finally have something to celebrate after their 38-28 Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State following the departure of former head coach Willie Taggart to Florida State.
The program was in jeopardy of also losing DC Jim Leavitt to Florida State, as there were rumors he would follow Taggart to Florida State.
Fortunately, new head coach Mario Cristobal, formerly Oregon's co-offensive coordinator, has reportedly managed to secure Leavitt through the 2021 season.
This year Jim Leavitt turned an #Oregon D that ranked No. 115 in yards per play allowed and improved it up to No. 32. At CU, his defense ranked No. 16 when he left, up 104 spots from the year before he showed up in Boulder.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 18, 2017
Leavitt's commitment to the program means fewer changes to the core of the program, which will also be good news for recruits. Marcus Arroyo will remain offensive coordinator, previously sharing the position with Cristobal.
Leavitt has improved the Ducks' defense from No. 115 in yards per play to No. 32 since his arrival in Eugene.
I'm sorry so many events have happened that can be distractions. I only focused on the game today bc I care so much for these players. Flying back to Eugene to breathe for a moment. Go Ducks!— Jim Leavitt (@CoachJimLeavitt) December 17, 2017
While fans were worried, Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens claimed he was unaware of any assistants planning to leave the program last week. On top of that, Leavitt's contract prevented him from seeking new employment without written permission through the end of the season, including bowl games.
The $1.7 million per year season to keep the 61-year-old coach apparently happened Sunday night. He'll be making nearly as much as the Cristobal, which is unheard of in today's college football landscape.