Sources: Oregon to hire defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt away from Colorado

BY Bruce Feldman • December 14, 2016

Jim Leavitt

Jim Leavitt is leaving Colorado to become Oregon’s new defensive coordinator, two sources told FOX Sports on Wednesday afternoon.

Leavitt is getting a four-year deal that is believed to make him the highest-paid coordinator in Pac-12 history at any public institution.

Leavitt sparked Colorado to a breakthrough season in 2016. The Buffaloes ranked No. 8 in the nation in fewest yards per play. Two years ago --before Leavitt arrived -- Colorado ranked No. 120 in that stat. Leavitt was a finalist for the Broyles Award this year, honoring the nation’s top assistant coach.

Jim Leavitt

Oregon ranked No. 115 in fewest yards per play allowed this season. The Ducks also ranked No. 126 in total defense, touchdown percentage in the red zone surrendered and in scoring defense.

Ironically enough, Leavitt, a former USF head coach, is joining the new Ducks staff led by Willie Taggart, another former USF head coach.

Leavitt also interviewed at Ole Miss for its defensive coordinator opening earlier this month.