Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal addressed the rumors of him entertaining the Auburn head coaching vacancy Monday night by saying he has not been contacted by the Tigers.
"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."
Auburn fired Gus Malzahn Sunday morning after a 6-4 record in his eighth season as Tigers head coach. Cristobal is one of the rumored targets as a former Nick Saban assistant coach.
Cristobal later said he was working on "something" before the pandemic hit in March with the Oregon administration.
"As you guys know we were working on something when the pandemic first hit and things kind of stalled and things have picked back up," explained Cristobal. "So hopefully the next couple days there's more stuff to talk about as it relates to that."
Coming off a Pac-12 Championship, Rose Bowl victory and back-to-back top recruiting classes in the Pac-12 in just his sophomore season as head coach, Mario Cristobal and the Oregon Ducks were reportedly in talks for a contract extension when the pandemic hit earlier this year. John Canzano of The Oregonian reports those talks have reengaged lately.
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.
A new extension would assuredly boost that number with Cristobal being the second-least paid coach in the conference in terms of base salary with numerous Pac-12 head coaches making over $4 million per season including David Shaw, Kyle Whittingham, Clay Helton and Chip Kelly: all coaches Cristobal defeated last season on the field and on the recruiting trail.
In exchange for agreeing to a boost in salary, Oregon will likely want to increase Cristobal's buyout to make it harder for other schools to hire him away. Currently, his buyout is 60% of the remaining money on his contract.
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 18th, against USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game at 5:00 p.m. PT.