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Financial implications of Mario Cristobal leaving Oregon

Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal looks at the clock during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game against Iowa State, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

EUGENE — There are financial implications to Mario Cristobal leaving Oregon for Miami beyond his $9 million buyout.

Cristobal forfeits $700,000 in earned performance bonuses by departing Eugene before the end of the season and a $300,000 retention bonus due if he were still coaching the Ducks on Jan. 14, effectively costing him — and saving Oregon — an additional $1 million.

Should the next Oregon head coach elect not to retain the current staff, defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter and receivers coach Bryan McClendon would be in line to receive 70% of their annual salary and running backs coach Jim Mastro, offensive line coach Alex Mirabal, tight ends coach Bobby Williams, defensive line coach Joe Salave’a, inside linebackers coach Ken Wilson, cornerbacks coach Rod Chance and safeties coach Marcel Yates, would receive 60% of their annual salaries.

Those reduced payments take the collective salary of those coaches from $4,871,250 to $3,056,250 next season, and that could decrease further after mitigation. Additionally, any coaches that are leaving to follow Cristobal are subject to buyout terms and could owe UO money rather than the other way around.

Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said an interim head coach would be named once he received clarity about who was joining Cristobal in Miami. Mullens wouldn’t say whether Mirabal, a lifelong friend of Cristobal, McClendon or Williams, both of whom have spent significant time in the Southeast, will be leaving for Miami, adding that it was up to any departing staff members to announce their future plans.

Each of Oregon’s assistants, including Moorhead, have earned a $10,000 bonus for winning the Pac-12 North division. They are also in line for a $15,000 bonus for competing in a bowl game with at least seven wins, but must coach in the game to earn that bonus.

The contracts for all of Oregon’s assistant coaches have a clause that addresses the possibility of Cristobal leaving, which allows UO to terminate each of the nine remaining full-time staffers — offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead is headed to Akron to be the head coach — and calls for them to earn either 70% or 60% of their salary for 12 months or the remainder of their term, whichever is less. For all nine assistants, the shorter period is 12 months and all of these reduced payment obligations for UO are subject to mitigation, meaning Oregon could end up paying less or perhaps nothing to an outgoing assistant if he’s able to earn more at a new job.