The University of Oregon made it official late Thursday morning Pacific time that they have, in fact, dismissed their defensive coordinator and USF head coach Jim Leavitt.
Oregon officially announces mutual decision between school & DC Jim Leavitt to part ways. Leavitt could receive as much as a $2.5 million buyout, depending on if he finds future employment
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) February 14, 2019
As we wrote Wednesday night, word broke in Eugene that head coach Mario Cristobal would not be keeping Leavitt for 2019. This after Cristobal was promoted last year to replace Willie Taggart and kept Leavitt, as defensive coordinator at the salary of $1.7 million dollars.
As this item from 24/7 Sports details, part of the agreement is that Levitt will be paid according to whether he sits completely out of coaching this year, and could be reduced should he find a comparable coaching job for 2019.
However, the “coaching carousel” cycle has basically died out in mid-February, and it’s unlikely that Leavitt will find a significant job for this upcoming season.
Leavitt rose to prominence in college coaching, as the original architect and head coach of USF program in the late 1990s. The Bulls made NCAA FBS history becoming the first school ever to move to Division One after fewer than four seasons of existence.
Leavitt was fired in January of 2010 after controversy at USF over him allegedly striking a player at halftime of a game that 2009 season. The school led by athletic director Doug Woolard, attempted to claim that the firing was for cause and that Leavitt had attempted to cover up the incident and change witness and the accuser’s stories. The school tried to not pay him any of his remaining salary.
From the Bulls, Leavitt coached in the NFL as a linebackers coach with the 49ers under Jim Harbaugh, and then, he later coached a season at Colorado, as their defensive coordinator. Next, he came to Oregon to join Taggart, when he took that job two years ago.
The connection of Taggart and Leavitt is an interesting one that goes back to Taggart’s playing days at Bradenton Manatee High School, when Leavitt recruited him.
Would Leavitt elect to join Taggart at Florida State now? Would Taggart want him?
Does Leavitt simply want to sit back and enjoy his family, including young children, and get paid for 2019 by Oregon?
Time will tell.
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