Oregon will begin its search for a new baseball coach.
George Horton is out after 11 seasons on the bench after bringing baseball back to the school. Horton posted on Twitter that he and the school agreed not to have him return next year when the mutual option in his contract would have paid him $500,000.
“This was not an easy decision, but I believe it to be the best at this point in my career,” Horton wrote. “I am thankful for the relationships and opportunities that I was given as the head coach of Oregon baseball and I wish them the best moving forward. I am excited to spend some time with my family as I enter the next chapter of my career and look forward to new opportunities and challenges.”
"I want to thank George for leading Oregon baseball with distinction for the last 11 seasons and for laying the foundation for future success," UO athletic director Rob Mullens said in a statement. "George had a positive impact on both our baseball student-athletes and on the University itself, and this sure-fire Hall of Famer has been a tremendous ambassador for the school and for the game of baseball. We wish him and his family all of the best moving forward."
Oregon finished the season 27-29 for its second straight losing record. Horton led the Ducks to the postseason in five of his first seven seasons before missing out during his final four years.
Horton, 65, had an overall record of 373-278-1 with the Ducks after arriving from Cal State Fullerton, where he went 863-488-2 in 11 years including a national championship in 2004.
Horton was hired in September 2007 to reinstate the baseball program that was dropped in 1981.
"My time in Eugene will always be cherished, and I will forever be a Duck,” Horton said in a statement. “I am very thankful for the opportunity that was given to me by the University to start this program from scratch. I wish my successor, the current student-athletes, fans and administration nothing but the best moving forward."
Oregon went 14-42 during its first season back in 2009 before making an NCAA Regional the following year while finishing 40-24. The Ducks went 46-19 in 2012 and won a regional at PK Park before losing at home to Kent State in a Super Regional.
The Ducks went 48-16 in 2013 and 44-20 in 2014 before reaching the postseason again in 2015 with a 37-24 mark. The Ducks have not won more than 30 games in any of the past four seasons while compiling a mark of 112-109 during that span and finishing either eighth or ninth in the Pac-12 in each of those years.
Oregon had 48 players drafted since the return of baseball, including pitchers David Peterson and Tyler Anderson in the first round. Six Ducks from the modern era have reached the major leagues.