Rest easy, Ducks fans.
Mario Cristobal seems committed to the University of Oregon.
The Oregon board of trustees will meet on Thursday, December 17th at 10:00 a.m. to approve the details of a contract extension for the Ducks head coach.
The terms are a 6-year, $27.3 million deal with an average base salary of $4.55 million, good for fourth in the Pac-12. His base salary will bump up from $2.7 million to $4.3 million beginning January 15th.
There's also a $500,000 retention bonus on January 14th with subsequent, lower value, annual retention bonuses.
Cristobal's potential buyout will be 80% of the remainder of his contract, an increase from the 60% of the remaining money on his contract from his previous deal.
The extension includes bonuses for winning any bowl game ($50,000), winning seven regular season games (up from $100,000 to $150,000), making a NY6 bowl game (increases from $175,000 to $300,000), making a College Football Playoff Semifinal (increases from $200,000 to $375,000) and appearing in the National Championship (increases from $250,000 to $375,000).
Cristobal signed a new contract in June 2019, after one full season as the Ducks head coach, increasing his original salary of $2.5 million per season up to $100,000 more each of the next four seasons, earning $3 million in the 2023 contract year. He entered 2020 as the Pac-12's 11th highest-paid head coach in terms of base salary with numerous Pac-12 head coaches making over $4 million per season such as David Shaw, Kyle Whittingham, Clay Helton and Chip Kelly: all coaches Cristobal defeated last season on the field and on the recruiting trail.
After Auburn fired Gus Malzahn after a 6-4 season, Cristobal was mentioned as one of the leading candidates for the job as a former Nick Saban assistant. However, when asked about the rumors Cristobal denied having been contacted and alluded to him and the Oregon athletic department "working on something."
"We seem to get a lot of rumors at this time of year. I haven't been contacted, I don't know if my agent has been contacted and I talk to him every single day," said Cristobal.
"I trust Phil Knight, I trust Rob Mullens, I trust our administration, and I trust the people at Oregon.
"As you guys know we have been working on something when the pandemic first hit and things kind of stalled, things have picked back up... So hopefully in the next couple days there's more stuff to talk about as it relates to that."
The "something" was clearly a contract extension which was reportedly in the works prior to the pandemic with negotiations getting started again in recent weeks.
Two days after Cristobal addressed the rumors, the Oregon athletic department scheduled a meeting with the Oregon Board of Trustees “for purposes regarding an employment contract for the head intercollegiate football coach," for Thursday at 10:00 a.m.
In three seasons as head coach at Oregon, the Ducks are 24–9 and have won the Pac-12 Championship once with the opportunity to go back-to-back this Friday, December 18, against USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game at 5:00 p.m. PT.