Oregon Ducks

Ducks coach Mario Cristobal announces staff promotions

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Ducks coach Mario Cristobal announces staff promotions

EUGENE, Ore. – University of Oregon Head coach Mario Cristobal announced title enhancements for three members of his coaching staff on Thursday.

Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo has added assistant head coach to his duties. Safeties coach Keith Heyward has added co-defensive coordinator duties to his role entering the 2018 season. In addition to being the associate head coach/defensive line coach, Joe Salave’a will now also serve as co-defensive coordinator/run game coordinator for the defense. The duo will work alongside defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, who handles the play calling.

“I’m very happy to announce these promotions for Marcus, Keith and Joe ,” said Cristobal. These guys have played a critical role in the advancement of the program, helping us establish an identity and culture. I have a ton of belief in them as teachers and coaches in the game of football and in life.”

Arroyo joined the Ducks in February of 2017 as co-offensive coordinator while coaching the quarterbacks and tight ends. He was promoted to offensive coordinator this past December. In his first season with the Ducks, the Oregon tied for the Pac-12 lead with seven games of 40-plus points. Oregon is the fifth stop for Arroyo as a play caller, having already done so with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Southern Mississippi, Wyoming and San Jose State.

Veterans of the Pac-12 Conference as both coaches and players, Salave’a and Heyward were part of Leavitt’s defensive staff in 2017 that provided an immediate improvement over the previous year. The Oregon defense made major jumps in nearly every statistical category, highlighted by total defense (from 115th to 46th).

Entering his second season leading Oregon’s safeties room, Heyward has coached defensive backs at four different Pac-12 schools and was an All-Pac-10 cornerback at Oregon State. Prior to Oregon, he was the secondary coach at Louisville in 2016.

An All-Pac-10 defensive lineman at Arizona before playing in the NFL for eight seasons, Salave’a spent five seasons at Washington State prior to arriving in Eugene. While at Washington State, he served as the defensive line coach all five years and was the assistant head coach the final two.

Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens named next CFP Selection Committee Chair

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Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens named next CFP Selection Committee Chair

In the first year of the College Football Playoff existence, UO director of athletics Rob Mullens got to experience the selection process as a participant, before Oregon's run to the national championship game to cap the 2014 season.

For the last two years, Mullens had an insider's view, as a member of the 13-person selection committee. And for the next two years, Mullens will gain yet another perspective, after being announced Wednesday as chair of the selection committee for a two-year term beginning with the 2018 season.

"This is an incredible honor," Mullens said. "It's the opportunity to be involved in an extremely important, intense element of college athletics, with the added bonus of working alongside a group of accomplished professionals. I was obviously a firm believer in the process already, but stepping into it and having a chance to be part of the committee, it reaffirmed everything."

Mullens, who has been director of athletics at Oregon since 2010, will be the third CFP selection committee chair since its inception. He follows former Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long and, for the past two seasons, Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt.

Hocutt was chair for the first two years of Mullens' term on the committee. Mullens is being appointed to a two-year term as chairman – which will include being spokesman for the committee following the weekly rankings that are released beginning midway through the season.

"Kirby's done a fantastic job," Mullens said. "Having the opportunity to serve under his leadership for two years was a great experience. Although the chair serves as spokesperson, you're really there to represent the voice of the committee. Every member is extremely involved; they arrive incredibly prepared and ready to get it right. The chairman is just the voice of the committee, a role Kirby handled extremely well."

The selection committee meets over two days at the beginning of each week in Dallas, beginning at midseason. It ranks a weekly top 25 and then, after the regular season, chooses the four playoff semifinal participants as well as the matchups for the other New Year's Six bowl games.

Individual committee members are assigned as "point person" for individual conferences; in 2017, Mullens was responsible for providing research on the Big Ten and Mountain West. The chair is not tasked with that responsibility, instead setting the agenda and facilitating discussion in the meetings, then serving as spokesman along with CFP executive director Bill Hancock.

"We are delighted that Rob will be stepping into this role," Hancock said. "He is an experienced committee member, extremely passionate about college football, detail-oriented and brings a high level of energy that is perfectly suited to chairing the committee."

Hancock originally contacted Mullens about his possible appointment as chair. The CFP management committee, made up of 10 conference commissioners and the athletic director from Notre Dame, officially appoints the chair.

"The system works," Mullens said. "You're in there with 12 other outstanding people who understand the enormity of the task, who have great integrity and value the importance of integrity to the process.

"When you have 13 different voices, there's a lot of conversation. But I always left knowing that everybody in there had integrity at the top of their mind, everyone was well-prepared, and the conversation was incredibly thorough."

Jordon Scott named to freshman All-America team

Jordon Scott named to freshman All-America team

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon defensive lineman Jordon Scott has been named to the 17th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team.

 

Scott (Largo, Fla. / Pinellas Park HS) finished his freshman season with 34 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks while starting 11 of Oregon’s 13 games. He had a season-high five tackles at Washington earning a spot on that week’s Pro Football Focus All-Pac-12 Team. Scott had multiple tackles in 11 games, including the last 10.

 

Scott, who was previously named the 247Sports True Freshman All-America Team, is the eighth Oregon player to be named to a FWAA Freshman All-America Team. He joins Haloti Ngata (2002), LaMichael James (2009), John Boyett (2009), De’Anthony Thomas (2011), Tyler Johnstone (2012), Royce Freeman (20014) and Troy Dye (2015).

 

Oregon names Donte Williams as outside linebackers coach

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Oregon names Donte Williams as outside linebackers coach

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal announced today that Donte Williams has joined the staff as the outside linebackers coach. Williams joins Cristobal’s staff after spending last season at Nebraska where he coached cornerbacks and sub-package specialists (nickels and dimes), while also being involved in the pass defense coordination.

Williams will replace Raymond Woodie who went to Florida State with former Oregon coach Willie Taggart. 

“We are excited to add Donte to the staff,” Cristobal said. “His leadership skills and impact on student-athletes will be of great benefit to our program. Donte is an excellent coach and a nationally recognized top recruiter, and we look to forward to utilizing his efforts, knowledge and energy to move our program forward.”

Before his season at Nebraska, Williams served as the cornerbacks coach at Arizona during the 2016 season where he was credited for energizing the Wildcats’ recruiting efforts.

Williams began his full-time Division I coaching career at San Jose State in 2013. After a season coaching cornerbacks for the Spartans, he was promoted to secondary coach and recruiting coordinator for his final two seasons in San Jose.

The Spartans’ defense made immediate improvements with Williams’ addition. In his first season overseeing the entire secondary in 2014, San Jose State’s total defense improved 71 spots in the FBS rankings, while passing yards allowed improved 85 spots and passing touchdowns allowed jumped 102 spots.

In 2014, SJSU led the country in both passing yards allowed (117.8) and passing touchdowns allowed (6), while ranking 33rd in total defense (357.3). Those numbers were a decrease of 102 yards per game in total defense, as well as 126.9 yards per game in passing yards allowed with 20 fewer touchdown passes allowed. In Williams’ final season at San Jose State, the Spartans ranked second in passing yards allowed (157.8), 29th in passing touchdowns allowed (16) and 34th in total defense (358.5).

In addition to his on-field work, Williams earned recognition for bolstering San Jose State’s recruiting efforts. In 2015, Sports Illustrated named Williams a top 10 recruiter in college football. He was also named the top recruiter in the Mountain West Conference in 2014 by 247Sports.

Williams joined the Spartans staff after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant at Washington where he coached cornerbacks and linebackers. He started his career as the secondary coach at Los Angeles Harbor College before working in the same position at El Camino College (2008) and Mount San Antonio College (2009). Williams spent the 2010 season as a quality control coach at Nevada assisting with linebackers.

Williams graduated from Idaho State in 2006 where he served as defensive team captain and earned first-team All-Big Sky honors during his junior and senior seasons.

Oregon extends contracts of Leavitt, Arroyo and Salave'a

Oregon extends contracts of Leavitt, Arroyo and Salave'a

University of Oregon head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Monday that three assistant coaches have signed contract extensions: defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach Jim Leavitt, associate head coach/defensive line coach Joe Salave’a, and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks/tight ends coach Marcus Arroyo. Leavitt’s contract was extended through the 2021 season, with Salave’a and Arroyo’s contracts extended through the 2020 season.

“We are thrilled we were able extend Jim, Marcus and Joe’s contracts,” Cristobal said. “All three have been impactful in establishing the direction of our program as both teachers and mentors for our players. They have been key in helping build our momentum, both on the field and in recruiting. Jim led an amazing turnaround on the defensive side of the ball that saw great improvement in all area of the defense. Joe’s defensive line was a big part of that improvement thanks to his ability to make players better. Under his tutelage, the defensive line led an attack that allowed 118 fewer rushing yards per game than in 2016 while accounting for 63 more tackles for loss and eight more sacks. Marcus’ work on offense, and in particular with Justin Herbert, were critical to the offense’s success. Despite Justin’s absence for five games, we finished in the top 20 in scoring overall while averaging nearly 50 points when at full strength.” 

In his first season as defensive coordinator, Leavitt’s Oregon defense produced significant improvement over the previous year in multiple categories, including total defense (from 115th to 46th), tackles for loss (from 102nd to 22nd), third down defense (from 122nd to 24th), sacks (from 61st to 27th), rushing defense (from 121st to 26th), and interceptions (from 81st to 19th). The Ducks also ranked in the top four in the Pac-12 Conference during the 2017 regular season in rushing defense (2nd), third down defense (2nd), total defense (4th) and fumble recoveries (4th).

Salave’a’s efforts with the Oregon defensive line were a considerable factor in the overall defensive improvement, including an All-Pac-12 second team performance from junior Jalen Jelks, who ranked in the top 10 in the league in both tackles for loss and sacks. Jelks also recorded the first game of five or more tackles for loss by a Duck since 2007, on Sept. 23 at Arizona State. Additionally, true freshman defensive lineman Jordon Scott earned Freshman All-America honors from 247 Sports.

Under Arroyo’s tutelage, the Ducks averaged 49.4 points and 516.5 yards of total offense per game in the seven regular season games started by sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert. Oregon also ranked second in the Pac-12 in rushing offense and tied for fourth nationally during the regular season with 40 rushing touchdowns, with senior offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors.

Oregon baseball coach George Horton extends contract

Oregon baseball coach George Horton extends contract

University of Oregon athletics director Rob Mullens announced today a contract extension for baseball coach George Horton that will run through June 30, 2020.

“We appreciate George’s leadership in building Oregon baseball, and we are excited about the future,” Mullens said.

In nine seasons at Oregon, Horton has resurrected a dormant Ducks’ baseball program and built it into one of the top programs in the country. During his tenure in Eugene, he has compiled a 320-220-1 record (.592) while leading the Ducks to the postseason five times. Over the last six seasons, Oregon has won 234 games, tied for the 15th most in the country.

Under Horton, Oregon made its first modern-era NCAA appearance in just its second season of existence, playing in the NCAA Regionals in 2010. The Ducks topped that effort in 2012 advancing to their first Super Regional and finishing just one win shy of advancing to the College World Series. UO also reached the NCAA Regionals in 2013, 2014 and 2015, winning a school-record 48 games in 2013. From 2012 to 2014, Oregon was one of just eight teams to win 40-plus game in all three seasons

“I’m very happy that we were able to extend our agreement well ahead of the Sept. 10 deadline,” Horton said. “And I’m excited for and eager to start the 2017-18 season so we can continue toward achieving our goals as a baseball program.”

Oregon’s student-athletes have excelled on an off the field under Horton. A total of 29 players have been selected, two in the first round, in the Major League Baseball Draft, with four advancing to the big leagues. Academically, 36 players have been named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team during Horton’s tenure, with five earning first-team honors. In 2017 the team accumulated an average GPA of 3.02 with a 91 percent Graduation Success Rate.

Chris Boucher surgery successful

Chris Boucher surgery successful

EUGENE, Ore. – Senior forward Chris Boucher underwent successful knee surgery Wednesday to repair his torn left anterior cruciate ligament.

        Boucher, who sustained the injury late in the first half of the March 10 Pac-12 Tournament semifinal against California, is expected to make a full recovery.

        “Chris Boucher underwent successful ACL reconstruction surgery,” said Dr. Riley Williams, who performed the procedure at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. “We anticipate a full recovery with rehab set to start next week.”

        Boucher averaged 11.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in 2016-17 and led the Pac-12 in blocked shots at 2.6 per game. The Montreal, Quebec, native set the UO single-season record with 110 blocks as a junior a year ago.

 

Ducks to open three spring football practices to the public, one in Portland

Ducks to open three spring football practices to the public, one in Portland

Friday marks the first opportunity for fans to get a look at the Ducks under new head coach Willie Taggart.

EUGENE – Fans will be afforded a closer glimpse inside the new era of Oregon football under head coach Willie Taggart with the announcement that three of the program’s 14 practices prior to the April 29 Spring Game will be open to the general public as the Ducks open off-season workouts on Wednesday, April 5.

Practices in Eugene will be open to the public Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, at Kilkenny Field to the west of the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, while the Ducks will take their April 15 workout on the road to Portland’s Jesuit High School.

This Friday’s workout is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., with Saturday slated to start at 2:30 p.m. The April 15 practice in Portland will run from 2:30-4 p.m., with parking available in the Cronin Field’s East Lot at the intersection of S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and S.W. White Pine Lane.

For the open practices in Eugene, spectators are asked to park in the Autzen Stadium East Lot and enter the facility via the southeast ramp near the Moshofsky Center parking lot. Gates will open this weekend at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., respectively. Fans will be asked to observe practice from the north sideline only, with cameras not allowed into the facility by the general public.

No food and/or beverages will be allowed into the practice facility. Restroom facilities will be available in the Moshofsky Center across from the Duck Store.

Admittance to the open practices will be on a first-come basis, with the number of spectators limited to once the capacity has been reached. In the event that weather forces the team to practice inside the Moshofsky Center, the open-practice status may be amended to be rescheduled another day.

The Ducks will conclude their off-season workouts with the annual Spring Game on April 29, beginning at 11 a.m. in Autzen Stadium.

Michael Johnson joins Taggart's staff as wide receivers coach

Michael Johnson joins Taggart's staff as wide receivers coach

EUGENE, Ore. – Willie Taggart completed his coaching staff on Wednesday morning with the hiring of Michael Johnson as the Ducks’ wide receivers coach. 

Johnson arrives at Oregon with 10 seasons of experience coaching in the NFL, and has served as an offensive coordinator at both the college and professional ranks. Most recently, Johnson was the head coach at The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, Calif. He coached there for three seasons after spending two as a player personnel director at North East Sports Consultants.

Johnson was given the keys to the San Francisco 49ers offense in 2010 as offensive coordinator after working as quarterbacks coach in 2009, guiding the team to more than 103.6 rushing yards per game and 313.3 total yards per game.

He moved to the college game in 2011 to take over as offensive coordinator at UCLA, where Johnson helped guide the Bruins to an appearance in the first Pac-12 Championship game. Johnson also served as the interim head coach for the Bruins in the Fight Hunger Bowl.

Prior to joining the 49ers, Johnson worked for two seasons as wide receivers coach for the Baltimore Ravens (2006-07), where Johnson mentored receiver Derrick Mason, who caught 103 passes for 1,087 yards in 2007.

Johnson spent 2002-05 with the Atlanta Falcons before moving to Baltimore, working for one season as the wide receivers coach and the final three as quarterbacks coach. While at the helm of the quarterbacks, Johnson coached the electric Michael Vick to two Pro Bowl selections and a dynamic season in 2005 in which Vick threw for 2,412 yards and 15 touchdowns and ran for 597 yards and another six scores.

Johnson went to the Falcons after getting his NFL coaching start with the San Diego Chargers in 2001 as quarterbacks coach. Johnson coached Doug Flutie to 3,476 passing yards that season, the most by a Chargers quarterback since Dan Fouts. Johnson was also instrumental in the development of then-rookie quarterback Drew Brees.

Johnson’s coaching career began just north of his current position with the Ducks, as he coached for three years at Oregon State from 1997-1999. Johnson coached wide receivers for his first two seasons and then quarterbacks in 1999, where he helped guide the Beavers to their first bowl game in 39 years.

Johnson, a quarterback in his playing days, played for four seasons in the World Football League and the Canadian Football League. Johnson set numerous records as the starting quarterback at the University of Akron in 1988 and 1989, including being named the school’s Athlete of the Year in 1989-90. Johnson played at Arizona State (1985-86) and Mesa Community College before going to Akron. Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in communication from Akron in 2008.

 

Oregon officially hires Marcus Arroyo as co-offensive coordinator

Oregon officially hires Marcus Arroyo as co-offensive coordinator

EUGENE – Willie Taggart has announced the addition of Marcus Arroyoas the Ducks’ new co-offensive coordinator, as well as the team’s quarterbacks and tight ends coach.

Arroyo came to Eugene after spending two years as the running backs coach at Oklahoma State. His second year with the Cowboys brought a substantial uptick in the running game from 2015, as OSU went from averaging 3.6 yards per carry and 126.8 yards per game to averaging 4.52 yards per carry and 170.9 yards per game in 2016. The Cowboys’ 32 touchdowns in 2016 were also an improvement from their 25 in 2015.

Arroyo was also instrumental in grooming running back Justice Hill, who set OSU’s freshman rushing record in 2016 and was the nation’s top freshman rusher with 1,142 yards on 206 carries (5.54 ypc).

Prior to going to Stillwater, Arroyo spent the 2014-15 season in the NFL as interim offensive coordinator and play-caller for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He originally went to Tampa Bay to coach quarterbacks, but after a health procedure sidelined Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, Arroyo took on the OC duties.

With Arroyo at the helm of the Tampa Bay offense, receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson both eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving, the first time in team history a pair of receivers went over 1,000 yards. Evans also set franchise rookie records with 68 receptions, 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns to become one of five finalists for NFL Rookie of the Year.

Before making the move to the NFL, Arroyo spent the 2013 season as the offensive coordinator and outside receivers coach at Southern Mississippi. Operating in Arroyo’s offense, true freshman quarterback Nick Mullens earned a spot on the Conference USA all-freshman team.

Arroyo gained experience working in the Pac-12 before going to USM, spending 2011 and 2012 as the passing-game coordinator and play-caller at California. Arroyo helped quarterback Zach Maynard work his way into the school’s career top 10 in both passing yards (5,204) and total offense (5,350) in only two seasons, and his 128.36 career passer efficiency rating is eighth in Cal history.

Arroyo spent the 2009 and 2010 campaigns at Wyoming as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, developing quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels into the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year in 2009. Arroyo installed a new spread offense in 2009 that helped the Cowboys score 30 points or more five times and mount five fourth-quarter comebacks. Arroyo’s offense was stellar at taking care of the football, finishing seventh in the nation in fewest turnovers lost with only 14.

Prior to his stint at Wyoming, Arroyo was the co-offensive coordinator for two seasons and quarterbacks coach for three campaigns at his alma mater, San Jose State. He was the quarterbacks coach and play-caller for the Spartans in 2006, and added co-offensive coordinator duties for 2007 and 2008 under head coach Dick Tomey. Arroyo tutored the Spartans’ all-time leader in passing and total offense, Adam Tafralis, from 2006-07, guiding him to 7,548 career passing yards and 8,111 yards of total offense. Arroyo was an offensive graduate assistant at San Jose State in 2005 before being elevated to a full-time assistant.

Arroyo began his coaching career with the Spartans in 2003 as an undergraduate assistant coach. He was the offensive coordinator at Prairie View A&M (FCS) in 2004 before returning to San Jose State as a graduate assistant.

A native of Colfax, Calif., Arroyo was a three-year letterman at San Jose State, where he played quarterback from 1998-2002. In 2000, he passed for 2,334 yards and 15 touchdowns while leading the Spartans to seven wins, their most in eight seasons.