Oregon has fired Mark Helfrich as head coach after four seasons.
"No one wanted Mark to be more successful at Oregon than me," athletic director Rob Mullens told reporters Tuesday night. "For the past several months I've grown concerned over the direction of the program. We were not competitive in a number of games and we were on a poor trajectory."
Players were given less than a half-hour notice Tuesday night to attend an emergency team meeting at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, where they were informed of the decision. After the meeting, players walked to Helfrich's office and formed a line outside as they waited to say their thanks.
The search will be assisted by the firm Parker Executive Search, and will go "far and wide," Mullens said.
Oregon finished the 2016 season with a 4-8 record.
UO representatives reportedly met with Tom Herman last week before he left Houston for Texas on Saturday. Another report from Texas said UO is "kicking the tires" on Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, the former Oakland Raiders, Tennessee and USC coach. A 247 Sports report also indicated that TCU's Gary Patterson was not receptive to UO overtures.
Western Michigan's P.J. Fleck (29-21 in four seasons) and Boise State's Bryan Harsin (38-13 in four seasons, including 2013 at Arkansas State) are reportedly targets of Oregon's.