Florida State defensive coordinator target Jim Leavitt will remain at Oregon, agreeing to a new deal worth $1.7 million per year over the next four years, per Bruce Feldman. Yes, you read that right. In comparison, Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal makes $2.5 million — only a difference of $800,000, annually.
Leavitt was expected to join new head coach Willie Taggart at Florida State, however a fluid situation and a contract offer of those proportions ultimately led to a change.
Leavitt’s salary will be among the top coordinators at any school in the nation, and at 61, he boasts extensive experience. He’s been an assistant at Kansas State and Colorado, as well as with the San Francisco 49ers, and he was the head coach at South Florida from 1997-2009.
At Oregon, Leavitt oversaw a defensive turnaround that is beyond impressive. In just one season under Leavitt, the Ducks’ overall S&P defensive ranking went from 119th, before his arrival, to 58th. And if you were frustrated with FSU’s inability to get off the field at times this season, check this out: Oregon’s passing-down defense went from 116th prior to Leavitt to 13th with the veteran coach.
And that was far from an isolated incident. Before Leavitt coached in Eugene, he headed up the defense for two years at Colorado. The year before his arrival, the Buffs’ defense ranked 109th, nationally. Two years later? 12th.
Florida State will now have to look elsewhere to find its new defensive coordinator.