Georgia DC Dan Lanning Reportedly Expected to Be Named Next Oregon HC

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 11, 2021

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 12:  An Oregon Ducks helmet sits on an equipment box during a PAC-12 NCAA football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Stanford Cardinal on November 12, 2016, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR.  (Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The University of Oregon reportedly will hire Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning as its new head football coach following the departure of Mario Cristobal, according to Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports.

Cristobal left the program in early December to take over at the University of Miami, his alma mater and the place where his coaching career began as a graduate assistant in 1998.

The 51-year-old Miami native guided Oregon to a 35-13 record across five years in Eugene. That includes a 10-3 mark in 2021 that earned the team a berth in the Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma. Passing game coordinator Bryan McClendon took over on an interim basis ahead of the bowl game while the athletic department went through a coaching search.

His success continued a trend that has seen the Ducks become one of the nation's most consistently successful college football programs.

Oregon's .754 winning percentage (135-44 record) since 2008 ranks sixth in country behind only Alabama, Ohio State, Boise State, Oklahoma and Clemson, per TeamRankings.

The Ducks have finished inside the top 10 seven times during that span.

Lanning arrives to the Ducks after spending the past three years as the defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia. The Bulldogs led the nation in scoring defense during the 2021 season.

The 35-year-old Missouri native will serve as a head coach for the first time after 14 years as an assistant at the high school and collegiate levels. He's also spent time on college staffs at Pittsburgh, Arizona State, Sam Houston State, Alabama and Memphis.

In August, Lanning explained he was waiting for the right head coaching opportunity to arise rather than jumping at the first offer thrown his way.

"But the grass is certainly not always greener. And I learned that from watching coach [Kirby] Smart for several years," he said. "Being where you're at, and being successful where you're at, those opportunities will come. But my focus is being here right now."

The chance to take over a successful program like Oregon would have been tough to pass up, and now he'll look to extend the Ducks' recent run as a consistent force in the Pac-12.

Lanning's experience recruiting against Power Five competition during his prior coaching stops will prove vital in the months and years ahead.