FBC Oregon St Oregon - Cristobal (copy)

Former Oregon coach Mario Cristobal walks off the field after the Ducks beat Oregon State in their annual rivalry game on Nov. 27 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

Sources say Oregon coach and former Miami Hurricane Mario Cristobal and the University of Miami are working out the final details of a contract that could be worth in excess of $8 million a year.

A Miami official said Cristobal is expected to join the university “unless he gets cold feet.’’

Cristobal would be Miami’s 26th head coach.

Cristobal would replace Manny Diaz, whose status has not yet been addressed publicly by the school.

Cristobal, 51, known for his unbridled energy, intense work ethic and exceptional recruiting skills, has been the Oregon Ducks coach for four seasons. He won the Pac-12 championship in 2019 and 2020 before losing 38-10 to Utah on Friday night in the Pac-12 title game.

A large contingent of Miami fans on social media have been mercilessly criticizing Diaz for not bringing the 7-5 Hurricanes out of its longtime mediocrity and were desperate for Miami to hire Cristobal. Cristobal was eager to get back to South Florida for reasons beyond just returning to his alma mater. His mother, Clara, with whom he is extremely close, has been ill. He flew across the country last weekend to visit her before returning to Eugene.

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Cristobal’s overall record as head coach at Oregon: 35-13, including 10-3 this season before a bowl game that will be announced Sunday. Before Oregon (where he also served as co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach in 2017), he spent four years (2013-16) being groomed at Alabama under Nick Saban as the assistant head coach, offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. He got his first head-coaching job at FIU (2007-12), where he became the first Cuban-American head coach in major college football.

Cristobal was an offensive tackle at Miami from 1988 through 1992 under Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson and won two national titles. He coached at Miami as a graduate assistant from 1998 through 2000, then as an assistant from 2004 through 2006.

He replaced former Oregon coach Willie Taggart as head coach when Taggart left the Ducks for Florida State before the 2017 bowl game.

High-ranking Hurricanes officials were optimistic about Miami’s chances of landing Cristobal, despite Oregon booster/Nike founder Phil Knight being expected to extend him an offer difficult to refuse during recent days in which coaching contracts have increased to obscene amounts of money. Among the Miami donors with deep pockets and interest in the athletic department are brothers Jose and Jorge Mas, owners of Mas Tec, a $6.6 billion infrastructure contractor. The Mas brothers are co-owners of David Beckham’s Inter Miami MLS team and are close with Cristobal through their Miami Columbus High connection.

After the game Friday night, the first question Cristobal faced was about his future. Asked if he plans to sign a contract extension with Oregon or accept the Miami job, if offered, he replied: “I haven’t talked to anyone. Let’s not create narratives. Oregon is working on some stuff for me and that’s what I have right now. That’s the extent of that conversation.

“If there is anything to report, I’ll report it. I always have. Every year, we have people come for our staff, including myself. How the media treats it, I have no control over...Do I expect people to come at me? Yeah, I do. There’s nothing else to report. If there ever is, I’ll make sure to get it to you as fast as I can.”

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