A conversation with Mike Bellotti on Cristobal, Chip Kelly, the Alamo Bowl and what Phil Knight is thinking
"It's disappointing," the hall of fame coach said of Oregon's third search for a head coach in the last five years.
(Mike Bellotti at Autzen in November)
Mario Cristobal is out and a search for Oregon’s new head football coach is underway.
What should the Ducks be focused on? The I-5 Corridor spoke with former Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti Monday morning to get his thoughts on Cristobal, Oregon’s vacancy, coaching against Bob Stoops in the Alamo Bowl and what exactly Phil Knight is thinking right now.
What do you make of Mario leaving?
Well, it's a little disappointing as a coach that always tried to stay in a situation and continue to build it. I think anytime there's turnover, it's difficult for the program, difficult for the players, difficult for the coaches and their families. So that part has always been in the back of my mind.
The landscape has obviously changed in college football. I mean, with the transfer portal and NIL now, it makes the transferability — the portability of athletes and coaches and everything else — that much more fluid. It’s one of those things, as a coach, you used to be able to count on your recruiting, and when a kid signed you’d have them for four or five years — three to four years with the good ones — and you can sort of count on that.
Now you don't have that.
When people get frustrated with coaches flip flopping, they need to look back and say, “Wait a second.” We've made it now where you're not even sure your own team is going to come back the next year. You have to recruit them as much as you recruit anybody else. And now you also have to have the NIL support from community boosters, et cetera, to compete with everybody else. So it's a whole other level and you can't be involved with it, either. You have no oversight of it.
Mario’s situation is sort of interesting in that, I mean, he is from Miami. His mother lives there. His brother lives there. Certainly maybe his goal in life was to become the head coach at his alma mater and he got that opportunity. But you always hope that, especially when you're seeing success and building something, that people will stay to continue building what they built until they achieve whatever the ultimate success that they want.