Mario Cristobal was a major asset for the Alabama Crimson Tide football program. In addition to building numerous great offensive lines, Cristobal was also the program’s recruiting coordinator.
But on Friday, Cristobal left Alabama to become the co-offensive coordinator at Oregon. In speaking with Aaron Suttles of Tidesports.com, Cristobal thanked the entire Alabama program, Nick Saban and a number of former players for creating a special time in Tuscaloosa.
Cristobal also explained why now was the time to move on from Alabama.
“It’s been a great four years and along these four years there’s always been opportunities that came every year at all levels,” Cristobal told Suttles, “whether it be head-coaching opportunities, coordinator opportunities, assistant-coaching opportunities. This is one I felt really strongly about because of the head football coach, Coach Taggart, and the other assistant coaches who I’ve known from competing against them back when I was a head coach myself. My familiarity with them, the way that they want to run a program and the ability to help a university in a capacity that’s different: one that that gives me an opportunity to show growth and develop men. Those are things I learned here under Coach Saban. It’s an opportunity that’s exciting for a lot of reasons. I’m certainly grateful for that opportunity.”
Before coming to Alabama, Cristobal spent six seasons as the head coach at Florida International. Under his tutelage, players like Ryan Kelly were taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. He also helped develop the likes of Jonah Williams and Cam Robinson into All-Americans.
This season, Cristobal coached tackles and tight ends while Brent Key coached guards and centers.