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Oregon football coach leaving

The Associated Press

Just three days after losing the Pac-12 championship and their chance to salvage an up-and-down season with a Rose Bowl berth, the Oregon Ducks are looking for a new coach.

Mario Cristobal became the head coach at Miami on Monday, returning to his alma mater, and Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said his phone was “blowing up.”

“There’s no shortage of interest,” he said. “And so for us, it’s about finding the right leader. We’ve got incredible support inside the program, outside of the program, and we’ll lean on those folks as well. So Oregon football is going to be better than ever. We’re going to crank up the search this afternoon. We will find the next great leader of Oregon football. I mean just look back the last 10, 12 years. The results speak for themselves.”

Mullens said the Ducks attempted to retain Cristobal but did not discuss the terms of any offers. He also said Miami never reached out to him as a courtesy to express its interest.

Mullens said on a conference call with reporters that he is waiting to determine who on Cristobal’s staff is also going to Miami before naming an interim coach to lead the Ducks into the Alamo Bowl, where No. 15 Oregon will play No. 14 Oklahoma on Dec. 29.

New OU guy

Oklahoma hired Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as its head coach to replace Lincoln Riley, bringing back a former Sooners assistant with a long track record of success.

The 50-year-old Venables was on Oklahoma’s staff under Bob Stoops as co-defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2011. He was co-defensive coordinator when the Sooners won the 2000 national title. He left Oklahoma for Clemson in 2012 and won the Broyles Award in 2016 as the nation’s top assistant. He’s been on the staff of teams that have won three national titles and appeared in eight national championship games.

“He knows the formula to win national championships and has the toughness, the attitude and the fight that I think will elevate our program in a lot of positive ways,” said Stoops, who has been serving as interim coach since Riley left for USC.

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