UO currently owes former defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt $2.5 million

Oregon will pay new defensive coordinator Andy Avalos about the same amount of money it currently owes former defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt.

Avalos, who was scheduled to make $350,000 as Boise State’s defensive coordinator, has signed a three-year contract worth $2.45 million in guaranteed salary to lead the Ducks’ defense.

During the first year of the deal, Avalos will make $765,000. The base salary is $815,000 for the second year of the contract and $865,000 for the third year of the contract, which runs through Jan. 31, 2022.

 

Leavitt was the highest paid assistant in the Pac-12 with a salary of $1.7 million. The money owed to Leavitt in his separation agreement with Oregon will be paid by private sources, according to the athletic department.

"After a very thorough search that drew interest from a number of college and pro level coaches, I'm fired up to have Andy as our defensive coordinator," Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said in a release. "Andy's defenses are aggressive, disruptive and keep offenses off balance with his use of multiple fronts and coverages. His ability to teach and articulate concepts allows his players to be fast and physical."

Oregon ranked 48th in points allowed (25.4 per game) and 55th in yards allowed (385.9 per game) during a 9-4 finish in 2018.

Boise State was 12th in sacks (39), 20th in forced turnovers (24), 30th in scoring defense (22.1 ppg) and 39th in total defense (355.9 ypg) last season under Avalos.

Performance bonuses in Avalos’ contract include $10,000 for a North Division title, $15,000 for winning the Pac-12 championship, $15,000 for winning at least seven games and participating in a bowl game, $15,000 for participating in a New Year’s Six bowl, $10,000 for participating in the College Football Playoff semifinals, $25,000 for winning a national semifinal and $35,000 for winning a national championship.

Safties coach Keith Heyward, who was thought to be a strong inside candidate to replace Leavitt, has a base salary of $450,000. Defensive line coach Joe Salave’a, who shared the co-defensive coordinator title with Heyward last year under Leavitt, has a base salary of $550,000.

"Andy will be surrounded by exceptional coaches," Cristobal said. "I feel that it is important to note that during this process, Keith Heyward continued to assert himself and his value to the organization.  Keith not only is a great coach and mentor, but also a team guy who certainly makes our program better. Aside from his duties as a co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, Keith will also assume the title of assistant head coach."

Oregon offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo’s base salary for 2019 is $825,000.

New wide receivers coach Jovon Bouknight signed a two-year deal worth $645,000 ($310,000 in year one, $335,000 in year two), and new linebackers coach Ken Wilson signed a three-year deal worth $1.1 million ($350,000 per year).

Oregon’s total salary pool for the 10 full-time assistant this year is $4.22 million, down from $5.35 million last year.

Willie Taggart’s assistants made a combined $3.95 million in base salaries in 2017 and Mark Helfrich’s staff made a combined $3.19 million in 2016.

Cristobal’s base salary is $2.5 million.

The Ducks, who return star quarterback Justin Herbert and welcome the most touted recruiting class in program history, open spring practice next Thursday.