Despite Mario Cristobal inking a long-term extension with Oregon, the Auburn coaching vacancy can likely cost the Ducks another key member of the coaching staff.
Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos is the leading candidate to be Bryan Harsin's successor at Boise State after the latter accepted Auburn's vacancy, per a new report from Football Scoop Saturday morning.
Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator and former Boise State QB Kellen Moore was also considered a leading candidate to replace Harsin, but he seems like a long-shot now according to the report. With Moore out of the running, Boise State will turn its attention to Avalos.
ESPN's Adam Rittenberg described Avalos as "likely a leading candidate" for the Boise State job shortly after Harsin's move broke weeks ago.
However, Avalos denied having been involved in the Broncos hiring process leading into the 2021 Fiesta Bowl.
“I get it, that's my alma mater. A lot of blood sweat and equity into that university. But ultimately... I have not been engaged in that process," said Avalos when asked on Tuesday.
"I'm sure they have a process they're going through but we're focused on ours here and we're focused on finishing.
"There hasn't been any formal interaction there."
Avalos played linebacker for the Broncos from 2001-2005 amassing 365 tackles, good for fourth all-time in program history.
He later returned to Boise State as an assistant coach, working his way up from defensive line coach (2012-13), to linebackers coach (2014-15), to defensive coordinator (2016-18). His three defenses he coordinated were ranked 29th, 38th, and 30th in team defense nationally.
Mario Cristobal then hired him to replace Jim Leavitt as Oregon's defensive coordinator in 2019, where he coached the Ducks up from a 49th place finish in 2018 to 9th place in 2019 in team defense.
The Ducks defense last season led the conference in both interceptions and forced turnovers under Avalos.
In 2020, the Oregon defense regressed after losing Troy Dye, Jevon Holland, Brady Breeze, and Thomas Graham Jr. but Avalos still coached the unit to hold the then-Pac-12's second-best offense to a season-low 24 points in the 2020 Pac-12 Championship Game.
Oregon won the conference in both seasons with Avalos coordinating the defense.