Six reasons why Mario Cristobal was the right man for the Oregon coaching job
EUGENE, Ore. - After a wild week of endless speculation surrounding the Oregon head coaching position, the Ducks have finally settled on Mario Cristobal, previously the co-offensive coordinator under Willie Taggart, who recently took a job with Florida State University after just one year with Oregon.
Cristobal was a lesser-known candidate for the Oregon job, but his name carried a lot of weight after players petitioned for him to become the permanent head coach once he was named to the position in the interim.
Here are a few things you may not have know about Coach Cristobal, and why he may be just who the Ducks need to get this program back to where they want to be.
Cristobal won a national title at Alabama
Cristobal was the offensive line coach under Nick Saban for the Alabama Crimson Tide, and he helped them win a national title in 2015. Saban is one of college football's best coaches, and has a 216-62-1 record as a head coach to go along with 5 national championships.
Being associated with Saban's "coaching tree" is impressive in its own right, but it seems that Cristobal still keeps in touch with the legendary coach since traveling west to Oregon. In an interview with media after being named HC of the Ducks, Cristobal admitted he got less than an hour of sleep the night before because he was up talking to former colleagues, one of them being Saban.
He has been a head coach before
Cristobal was the head coach at Florida International University from 2007-12. He took over after the Golden Panthers endured an 0-12 season, and eventually got the team to 7-6 and 8-5 finishes in 2010 and 2011.
In 2010, Cristobal was named Sun Belt coach of the year, and the Golden Panthers beat Toledo 34-32 in a bowl game.
He is known as a great recruiter
Cristobal was named the nation's top recruiter by 247 Sports in 2015, and he ranked No. 2 at the same position in 2017.
He is the coach Oregon players wanted
Once Cristobal was named the interim head coach following Taggart's departure, a number of Oregon players took to social media in order to campaign for Cristobal to be named permanent head coach.
The hashtag #CristobALLIN was born.
By Thursday night, more than 70 Oregon players reportedly signed a petition to urge UO athletic director Rob Mullens to name Cristobal the head coach.
He may dislike the Huskies as much as many Oregonians
As a player, Cristobal played four years at the University of Miami from 1988-92. He played for legendary head coach Jimmy Johnson, and won two national championships as a Hurricane in 1989 and 1991.
However, in 1991, the seaon ended in a controversial "split decision" for the national champion. Both the Hurricanes and the Washington Huskies finished the season undefeated, and under the conference-bowl selection alignments of the time, the two teams could not meet in a decisive title game because Washington was slotted to play in the Rose Bowl, and by rule, the Rose Bowl was automatically played between Pac-10 and Big-10 champions.
Because of this outdated rule, the Hurricanes and Huskies technically both won the 1991 national championship.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson likes Cristobal, so you probably should too
Cristobal was teammates with 'The Rock' at Miami. Following the announcement of Cristobal's hiring, Dwayne Johnson tweeted out his support in the decision made by the Oregon Athletic Director.
Cristobal later responded to the tweet from the famous movie star, saying that he has sideline passes waiting for him in Eugene.
It is unknown how credible The Rock's endorcement for Cristobal is. However, if you feel the urge to discredit Dwayne Johson, go ahead and do so at your own mercy.