Justin Wilcox interviewed today by Oregon, Ducks now targeting Chip Kelly
The Oregon coaching search takes another turn.
The departure of Mario Cristobal has sent Oregon Ducks football into mayhem mode. Who will be their next coach?
John Canzano of the Oregonian reported yesterday that Oregon has requested an interview with Cal head coach Justin Wilcox. There have been no indications as to whether that request was accepted.
UPDATE: Wilcox interviewed today for the Oregon job.
Regardless of the buyout issue, Oregon seems too be moving ahead with an interview with Chip Kelly.
This has now been confirmed by ESPN, so there might be legs here.
On radio today, Canzano gave some candid thoughts on the coaching search.
Wilcox is attractive to many of the Oregon faithful (and the Vegas bookmakers) for the potential of a long-term loyalty hire. After Oregon lost two consecutive coaches to their alma maters in Willie Taggart and Mario Cristobal, the idea of hiring an Oregon man has become more appealing. The Ducks had two coaches from 1977 to 2008, and are about to hire their fifth coach in 13 years. Stability can sound appealing.
If Wilcox were offered the job, Canzano does not expect the entire Cal coaching staff to follow, although he does think Keith Heyward could be a prime candidate to join him given his prior experience with the Ducks. Wilcox would be given the warchest to make very strong coordinator hires.
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin is another candidate who supposedly has shown interest, but it does not seem Oregon has reciprocated. At this point there has been no interview, and perhaps not even communication from the Ducks toward Kiffin’s camp.
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake gave an interview. It did not go well.
Chip Kelly would be an interesting reunion, but the buyout is $9 million until January 15. With Early Signing Day coming up and Oregon hemorrhaging recruits, it might be imperative for the Ducks to make a hire as soon as they can.
Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin is recruiting in the Oregon region, but it’s unclear if he’s high on their list. There might be interest if other candidates do not work out.
Oregon is also pursuing other candidates, and at least one big name overall. Canzano did not name the candidate.
The situation continues to develop.