Wednesday’s news that the Oregon Ducks parted ways with defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt came as a shock to most listeners, but after parsing the details, perhaps a breakup between the two parties was inevitable.
Our own John Canzano (Bald Faced Truth, Weekdays 12-3pm on 1029/750 The GAME) penned his thoughts on the topic for The Oregonian/OregonLive, calling the split the “Oregon Ducks odd couple breaking up.”
“They were never really a happy couple (of egos), were they?,” Canzano writes. “Partnering the two high-octane coaches was a desperate move. And frankly, I’m surprised they lasted this long.”
JC gives background in his piece on athletic director Rob Mullens hiring Mario Cristobal to replace Willie Taggart, who bolted for Florida State after one season. The Cristobal hiring was not easy for Leavitt to swallow, and he was “disappointed at being passed over.”
“Leavitt seemed destined to leave Oregon. He badly wanted to be a head coach again, and working for a less experienced coach — one that had beaten him in the job interview — was going to be difficult for anyone, let alone the emotion-fueled Leavitt.”
As reported in Wednesday’s story, Leavitt was interviewed or linked to interview for three different head coaching positions this offseason. But each program – Kansas State, Texas Tech, and Colorado – chose to look elsewhere.
At 62, Leavitt’s career seems at a fascinating cross-roads. Will he find his way back to Taggart at FSU, as many thought he would when Taggart left in December 2017? Or will another program make a swing at Leavitt as head coach? Or will he even return as an assistant in the NFL?
Tune in to the BFT with John Canzano weekdays 12-3pm for the latest on this story. On THURSDAY’S show at 1pm, JC will talk to Matt Prehm of 24/7 Sports who broke the story.