Oregon assistant coach John Neal was all set to to hop on a plane bound for Birmingham to interview for Alabama Birmingham's head coaching position.

Then he realized his heart wasn't in it.

"I was humbled and excited by the opportunity," said Neal, who was scheduled to fly Wednesday for a Thursday interview. "but as I was preparing (for the interview) it just hit me it's not what I wanted to do. I'm blessed and excited to be at Oregon.

"Something was telling me, 'John, you've got to follow your heart here,' and this is what I've done."

Neal, 57, has been defensive backs coach at Oregon for 11 seasons, working under three head coaches. He was considered a candidate for promotion to defensive coordinator, but the job went to linebackers coach Don Pellum.