UNLV on Monday fired head football Marcus Arroyo following three losing seasons with the Runnin’ Rebels, immediately putting into the market a valuable name who will draw significant interest as a coordinator.
Arroyo was an assistant on Mike Gundy’s staff from 2015-16, and while his time in Stillwater was brief, his impact was indelible. He was instrumental in securing a commitment from Justice Hill and later became the deciding factor to help win over a commitment from Canadian star Chuba Hubbard over Oregon and others.
After his brief stint in Stillwater, Arroyo left for Eugene, Oregon to coach the Ducks by taking a promotion as its co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks and tight ends coach. He was elevated to Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach for 2018 and 2019 before UNLV hired him away as its head coach in 2020.
Oregon ranked 12th nationally in points per play in his final season calling plays for the Ducks, orchestrating one of the most explosive and dynamic offenses in the country.
OSU has a man in its offensive coordinator role currently in Kasey Dunn — who ironically Arroyo nearly hired away several years ago before OSU elevated him to OC to retain him — but the offense this season persistently underperformed expectations and flailed to the finish line in a 7-5 regular season finish. It’s not clear if Dunn’s job is or is not secure, but the sudden availability of Arroyo does perk the ears up a bit.
Arroyo is a West Coast guy — he’s from Sacramento, played at San Jose State and spent coaching stops there, at Cal, among other places — but he has not shied away from moving elsewhere dependent upon situation and opportunity. Among some other stops include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Southern Miss and Wyoming.
Arroyo may not be the answer that solves OSU’s problems, but it does seem that some change this offseason is imminent given how poorly OSU stumbled to the finish line on the season. OSU finished ninth among all Big 12 teams in rushing yards on the season and eighth in points per play.