Cristobal reflects on Alabama

New Oregon coach has plenty of experience with Saban
National Report
Associated Press photo

Oregon coach Mario Cristobol spent four years under Nick Saban as an assistant coach at Alabama.

To say he learned a lot in his time in Tuscaloosa would be an understatement.

Cristobol, who was named the Ducks head coach on Friday, was asked about Saban’s influence on his coaching career Sunday during an appearance on ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM.

“He’s a consummate professional,” Cristobal said. “He’s detailed, a wealth of knowledge. Whether it be in-season, off-season, regiments, structures, practice scheduling, recruiting, setting up a staff, there’s so many things that you learn in your time there. You get the chance to get your PhD in football. That’s what it is.”

Cristobal was officially promoted to head coach a year to the day after Willie Taggart was introduced as the coach at Florida State.

Cristobal -- the co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach -- was named interim coach for the Las Vegas Bowl. However, on Friday, that interim label was removed.

Before heading to Eugene, Oregon, Cristobal spent four seasons as offensive line coach at Alabama. He has six seasons of head coaching experience at Florida International, where he went 27-47, including 20-26 in conference, with two bowl appearances from 2007-12. He was also an assistant at Miami, his alma mater.

All of which shaped his career, he said on Sunday.

“But along the way, there’s no doubt, take a little bit of (Saban) and take a little bit of Jimmy Johnson,” he said. “Let’s not forget about ol’ boy down in Miami back in the day and the things that we were able to accomplish down there.”

Cristobal played his college ball at Miami, where he was an offensive tackle from 1989-92.

Oregon went 7-5 this season, including 1-4 in games without starting quarterback Justin Herbert, who missed time with a broken collarbone.

The Ducks face Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl Saturday, entering the game as a 6-point favorite.

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