Eugene, Ore. -- The University of Oregon football team and Defensive Coordinator Jim Leavitt have parted ways, as originally reported by 247Sports and confirmed by a UO statement on Thursday morning. Leavitt joined the Ducks staff under Willie Taggert in December of 2016.
In his time as coordinator, Oregon's defense improved to 55th nationally, and was slated to make an even bigger jump with linebacker Troy Dye returning and the Ducks bringing on ESPN no. 1 overall recruit Kayvon Thibodeaux. Oregon safeties coach Keith Heyward appears to be the frontrunner for the DC job, per multiple outlets, but the official statement stated a national search would be undertaken.
A settlement was agreed between Leavitt and the University for a sum of 2.5 million dollars. The money is privately funded and will be payable over multiple yeras and subject to reduction based on whether or not Leavitt can get a job in the future.
Oregon finished the 2018 season 9-4, winning the Redbox Bowl against Michigan State, 7-6.