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Mario Cristobal Leaving Oregon, Will Become Miami's Next Head Coach

Just days after appearing in the Pac-12 title game, Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal became the next coach in a wild carousel to depart their team for new avenues.
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Where there's smoke, there's fire. 

When the Oregon Ducks departed for Las Vegas to play in the Pac-12 Championship Game, rumors of Miami being interested in Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal began to swirl. 

However, even after being frankly humiliated by Utah on a second occasion, Cristobal refused to talk about his future outside of Oregon. 

"I haven't talked to anybody, so let's not create narratives as we sit here in this press conference," Cristobal said after losing to Utah on Friday. "Oregon's working on some stuff for me, and that's what I have right now, and that's the extent of that conversation.

"If there's anything to report, I'd report it. I always have."

However, early Monday, reports of Cristobal meeting with players to tell them in person that he would be accepting the head coaching job at Miami surfaced. 

Man, those contract negotiations sure went quick, didn't they? 

Cristobal now finds himself departing for a Hurricanes team that had announced the dismissal of head coach Manny Diaz earlier in the day. 

"We are grateful to Coach Diaz for his many contributions to our campus community and to his native South Florida, and for the strong leadership and exemplary character he exhibited during his tenure at the University," Miami president Julio Frenk said in a statement. 

"We wish him and his family the very best as they move forward."

Diaz went 21-15 in his three seasons at Miami after replacing former head coach Mark Richt.

There's been a lot of talk about money surrounding the Hurricanes program, and with Miami essentially needing to buy two coaches out of a contract on top of a wealthy salary for Cristobal moving forward, many pondered exactly how Miami would afford the 3-D chess move. 

According to The Athletic's Stewart Mandel, Miami is preparing to throw $8 million a year at Cristobal, along with $9 million to buy out his deal at Oregon with another $7-$8 million to buy out Diaz.

"Until recently, Miami’s administration had been unwilling to allocate funds to the athletic department, instead leaving it to cover all expenses on its own," Mandel said.

"But the success of Miami’s UHealth system, which made more than $400 million in profits last year, and promises from big-time boosters and donors to back upgrades at Miami, changed the school’s stance."

Just last year, Cristobal received a new six-year, $27.3 million deal taking him through the 2025 season.

Now, he is heading to Miami to lead the Hurricanes after Oregon had reportedly thrown even more money at Cristobal after learning of his interest in leaving, with reports of a new deal being similar to "Brian Kelly and Lincoln Riley" money according to John Canzano.

Cristobal returns home to Miami, where he played his college football as an offensive tackle from 1998-92, winning two national championships and playing under Hall of Fame coaches Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson.

Cristobal got his coaching career started as a graduate assistant with the Hurricanes from 1998-2000, later returning to Miami from 2004-06 as a position coach working with tight ends and offensive linemen. 

Spending four years at the helm of Oregon, Cristobal won two Pac-12 championships and had an overall record of 35-13.

This article will be updated when the announcement becomes official. 

UPDATE: Oregon confirms Cristobal's departure.

"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 Oregon AD Robert Mullens in a statement

"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."

An interim head coach for the Oregon football program will be determined as soon as possible.

UPDATE: Manny Diaz releases statement

UPDATE: Miami makes Cristobal hire official

UPDATE: Financial info on Cristobal's new deal