We got the expected news on Saturday morning that Oregon Ducks offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead would become the new head coach with the Akron Zips.
A report of this had come out earlier in the week but was finalized after Oregon’s loss to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night.
In a normal world, we would immediately delve into the candidates and try to figure out who Mario Cristobal might hire to replace Moorhead. However, it is still pretty unclear whether or not Cristobal will remain the head coach at Oregon, with strong reports coming out that he will take the job at Miami instead.
So with that disclaimer in mind, this entire article needs to be taken with a grain of salt. We are going to look at some potential replacements for the OC position at Oregon, but should a new head coach be hired, there’s the likelihood that the entire staff is replaced. The list might look much different then.
With that being said, here are a few candidates to potentially take over as OC for Oregon next year:
Running backs coach Jim Mastro seems like the top overall candidate to take over at OC for the Ducks, simply because when Moorhead had to miss time due to a medical emergency earlier in the season, it was Mastro who stepped as the interim play-caller. He has done a great job with the backfield and helped orchestrate Oregon’s dynamic running game.
A transition to play-caller would hopefully be smooth and seamless.
(Photo by Zachary Neel | USA TODAY)
Wide receivers coach Brian McClendon is also a potential candidate to step up, since he is highly regarded as a position coach on the team, and players love him. B-Mac has helped shape up the receiving corps, and while the Ducks haven’t made the best use of their talent at that position over the past couple of years, his role as a play-caller may go a long way in helping to change that.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Last year, the Ducks went down to Cal and poached defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter, as well as Marcel Yates. Might they do the same thing with Cal offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave?
Musgrave is well known in Oregon after playing for the Ducks back in the 1980s, and he’s helped the Golden Bears find some success on offense this season.
(Photo by Zachary Neel)
Not only is Alex Mirabal considered one of the best offensive line coaches in the conference, but he is also up for an assistant coach of the year award this season. Assuming that Mario Cristobal doesn’t jet for Miami and take his staff with him, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Mirabal take a step into a bigger role on the coaching staff.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
This is kind of a joke answer, but one that I would love to see, regardless. What is Mark Helfrich up to these days? After getting fired as head coach of the Ducks years ago, Helfrich had a quick stint in the NFL as an offensive coordinator. Despite some failures, he is still regarded as a great offensive mind, and his time at Oregon both as OC and HC was some of the best years the Ducks have seen in years. It may be worth it to give him a call, no?