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The expectations in Eugene, OR are increasing by the season.
Now, with Mario Cristobal having coached the Ducks to back-to-back Pac-12 Championships, the program has its eyes set on qualifying for the program's second-ever College Football Playoff to win its first National Championship.
In fact, those high expectations and goals are what drew new defensive backs coach Marcel Yates to the University of Oregon.
“Coach said, ‘Come help me win a national championship.’ That was one thing, in 21 years of coaching, I’d never had a head coach say to me,” Yates recalled Saturday.
“I said, OK.”
Yates joined the program as the secondary coach (safeties) and passing game coordinator in February 2021, coming from California where he coached alongside new Oregon defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter. The eight seasons prior to joining the Golden Bears in 2020, Yates served as a defensive coordinator for Arizona (2016-2019), Boise State (2014-2015), and Texas A&M (2012-13).
His familiarity with the conference, the West region and coaching under DeRuyter made him a desirable candidate for the Ducks.
"Marcel has a well-earned reputation as a teacher who accelerates the development of the players he coaches, and he also has a track record as a top recruiter," Cristobal said during a statement announcing the hiring.
In less than two months, Yates, along with Don Johnson Jr., has already secured a verbal commitment from four-star safety Trejon Williams, the highest-rated commitment as of now for the Ducks 2022 class.
So far, Yates describes the experience in Eugene as a smooth transition and has been impressed with the knowledge within the safety group at Oregon.
Verone McKinley III, who was recruited by Yates before deciding on Oregon, called him a great coach earlier this week and has been impressed by him during spring football.