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 in talks for a contract extension when the pandemic hit earlier this year.
Now, according to a column from The Oregonian's John Canzano, those talks are back on with a new deal expected to be agreed upon.
"A source at UO said that Cristobal’s camp is seeking a raise in base salary, additional years of security, and an overall continued commitment to program resources," reported Canzano. "In exchange, the Ducks would like to substantially increase Cristobal’s buyout and make poaching him difficult. The sides were knee-deep in that very discussion when the pandemic hit. Those talks have started back up again. Everyone I’ve talked with believes a long-term extension will get done."
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 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.
In exchange for agreeing to a boost in salary, Oregon will likely want to increase Cristobal's buyout to make him harder for other schools to hire him away. Currently, his buyout is 60% of the remaining money on his contract.
In October, many notable Oregon recruits were vying for the Ducks head coach to be extended.
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 by defeating Washington this weekend and the Pac-12 South Champion next weekend.