The Ducks are expected to hire former Brigham Young coach Gary Crowton as offensive coordinator, the Portland Tribune has learned. Coach Mike Bellotti was unavailable for comment. He's coaching this week in the Hula Bowl in Hawaii.
Crowton had a record of 26-23 in four years at BYU, but the Cougars had three consecutive losing seasons after going 12-2 with the nation's top-rated offense in 2001. He resigned Dec. 1, 2004.
Crowton, 47, an Orem, Utah, native who has seven children with his wife, Maren, served as offensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears for two years. Among his other coaching stops were Louisiana Tech (head coach) and Boston College (coordinator under Tom Coughlin).
• The Ducks plan to have a full complement of returnees. Tight end Tim Day opted to stay for his senior year, rather than declare for the NFL draft.
• Running back Jonathan Stewart, who would be Oregon's prized recruit, if they can get him, told Scout.com after the U.S. Army All-American Bowl that he would choose from among UO, Washington State and Tennessee, and probably not consider Washington.
• Unofficially, the Ducks have 16 verbal commitments, including several junior college players, and prep players can sign binding letters of intent starting Feb. 2. The Ducks are still hot on the trail of offensive linemen Matt Reynolds of Provo, Utah, and Kevin Bemoll of Mission Viejo, Calif.; cornerback Cary Harris of Sherman Oaks, Calif.; running back J.R. Hasty; and linebacker E.J. Savannah of Bellevue, Wash.
• Linebacker Rey Maualuga of Eureka, Calif., gave his verbal commitment to USC after the All-American Bowl, choosing the Trojans over Oregon.
• Bellotti will coach the West team this week in the Hula Bowl in Hawaii; the game is Saturday. He was slated to have former Ducks Jerry Matson, Adam Snyder, Chris Solomona and Robby Valenzuela and former OSU quarterback Derek Anderson on his team.
Ñ Jason Vondersmith