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Tumultous season ends with Oregon seeking new head coach

Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal watches the action during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)

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 new head coach at Miami Monday.

As a result, Oregon was in the process of naming an interim coach for the Alamo Bowl. The No. 15 Ducks will play No. 14 Oklahoma Dec. 29.

“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,” Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said 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.”

Cristobal's departure comes during a strange season for the Ducks (10-3).

Oregon climbed into the national championship conversation with a 35-28 victory over then-No. 3 Ohio State in the second week of the season.

While the Ducks later stumbled in a loss to Stanford on the road, they were still in the College Football Playoff picture until a 38-7 drubbing by Utah in the second-to-last game of the regular season.

Utah beat Oregon again in last Friday night's Pac-12 championship game, 38-10, and the Utes earned their first-ever Rose Bowl berth. Oregon dropped to No. 14 in the season's final CFP rankings.

“We disappointed ourselves as a staff, as a team. Found a way to win 10 games despite a lot of injuries, had some really bright moments. Got one of the best road victories in the country this year and then had a couple of disappointing losses. But end up with 10 wins on the season, end up winning the North division and gave ourselves an opportunity to win our third straight Pac-12 championship but we didn’t get it done,” Cristobal said following the game.

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