According to multiple reports, the University of Oregon has parted ways with defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt.
The Ducks reportedly will go with co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Keth Heyward to take over as DC.
Matt Prehm of 24/7 Sports had the news first on Wednesday.
The University of Oregon has not confirmed the reports. It is unclear whether Leavitt was fired if he walked away voluntarily. He was making $1.7 Million annually, the sixth-highest paid assistant coach in the country per USA Today.
The Oregonian’s James Crepea reports that Leavitt was under contract for two more seasons, and that if Leavitt was fired, the University would owe him nearly $3.4 Million of his remaining deal. However, if Leavitt resigned voluntarily, he would owe the University $250,000.
Leavitt was hired by Willie Taggart as defensive coordinator prior to the 2017 season. His unit showed significant improvement in his first season at the helm, but took some steps back in key statistical categories in 2018.
Leavitt made his feelings clear that he wanted the head coaching job at Oregon upon Taggart’s departure to Florida State. When the job went to Cristobal, an apparent sense of frustration began to build.
This offseason Leavitt was either interviewed or rumored to be interviewed for three different head coaching positions at Kansas State, Texas Tech, and Colorado. Each program went a different direction with their eventual coaching hires.
The 62-year-old Leavitt is the third assistant coach to leave Cristobal’s staff this offseason. Outside linebackers coach Cort Dennison accepted a job at Lousiville, and wide receivers coach Michael Johnson left to take the same job at Mississippi State. Cristobal has since hired Ken Wilson from Washington State to fill Dennison’s departure, and earlier Wednesday reportedly hired Jovon Bouknight from Texas Tech to replace Johnson.