Oregon's Crowton to run offense at LSU

Updated: January 16, 2007, 2:49 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Oregon offensive coordinator Gary Crowton is leaving the school after two seasons to take the same job at LSU.

ESPN's Joe Schad first reported the hiring on Monday evening.

Crowton said he accepted his new position Monday and expects to be in Louisiana on Tuesday night. He replaces Jimbo Fisher, who left LSU to become the offensive coordinator at Florida State.

Crowton said he has a good relationship with LSU head coach Les Miles and one of his assistants, and is looking forward to returning to a state where he had success. Crowton was the offensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech in 1995 and the head coach there for the next three seasons.

"I'm basically going back to the state to work with some guys that I've known and at the same time in a program that I know is one of the top programs in the country," Crowton said.

Crowton came to Oregon after spending four years as head coach at Brigham Young. He installed a spread-option offense that piled up plenty of points as the Ducks finished 10-2 in 2005.

In 2006, Oregon averaged more than 36 points per game while starting the season 7-2. The Ducks, however, lost their last four games and were held to 10 points or fewer in three of them, including a 38-8 loss to BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Crowton said the poor finish wasn't a factor in his decision.

"I felt like we had a lot of first-year starters on our team and I think they're going to be good next year. I like the team coming back here at Oregon," he said. "We lost our last four, but three of those four teams won 10 or more games, so they were good football teams."

The Tigers went 11-2 last season and finished No. 3 in the nation after winning the Sugar Bowl. Crowton said he would have liked to have worked with star quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who recently announced he will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft, but he also likes the challenge of developing someone new.

"I'm excited about the guys that they have behind him, and the opportunity to work with a new guy is always fun to me," Crowton said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.