Oregon hires Dan Lanning: Ducks adopt defensive mindset by calling Georgia assistant as next coach
Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning has been hired as Oregon’s next coach, the university said on Saturday night. Lanning, who joined the Bulldogs’ program in 2018 as a linebacker coach, has served as the defensive coordinator since the 2019 season. Lanning will fill the vacancy created by Mario Cristobal recently appointed coach of his alma mater Miami.
“Dan is an exceptional and energetic football coach who will provide a world-class experience for our football student-athletes,” Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said in a statement. “He is a great recruiter and talent developer, and we will continue to compete for the Championships while providing an environment where our football student-athletes can develop to their full potential in the classroom, on the football field and as individuals. . We are grateful for the opportunity to have Dan as the leader of our football program, and we look forward to the positive impact he will have on our student-athletes. “
While Lanning will stay with Georgia for his college football playoff run, his title as defensive coordinator will be shared by Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp for the playoffs, Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart announced on Saturday.
Lanning, 35, has become a worthy name on the head coach circuit after being the architect of a strong Georgian defense that leads the nation in several categories this season, including defensive yards per play (4 , 01) and scoring defense (9.5 points per game). Lanning’s unit was the driving force behind Georgia’s push to the SEC East title, an unbeaten regular season and a place in the college football playoffs as a No.3 seed.
Lanning previously served as an assistant coach in several high performance programs, most notably in Alabama and Arizona State.
The move is somewhat surprising considering the Ducks have reportedly expressed high-level interest in Cal coach Justin Wilcox and even arranged a reunion with former and current UCLA coach Chip Kelly. But the program seems to have found its man in Lanning’s defense.
So what are the main takeaways from the Ducks’ decision to hire Lanning? Let’s take a look.
A defensive mindset
Oregon burst onto the national scene in the late 2000s with the hugely successful spread offensive that relied heavily on tempo. Sadly, the lack of attention to defense played a big part in the Ducks missing out on national titles in 2010 and 2014. Cristobal’s defenses at Eugene weren’t exactly stellar, but an increased focus on la line of scrimmage created depth on all levels. which made it a more complete team.
Lanning’s defense in Georgia is one of the best in a generation, despite losing the SEC Championship game to Alabama. Can he replicate that in Oregon? It is asking a lot – at least early. But the DNA created by Cristobal lends itself to even more success on the defensive side of the ball thanks to Lanning’s record. This is probably the reason why Lanning got the job instead of Kelly. Oregon is currently based on the line of scrimmage, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Kelly has changed her stripes a bit and is more old-fashioned than he was in Oregon during his previous tenure. But Lanning’s state of mind is to punch his opponent in the teeth and then sink his teeth into him once he’s done.
Everything about recruiting
Lanning is widely known as a hardworking recruiter with connections across the country. He’s considered the main recruiter for Georgia star linebacker and former No. 1 general prospect Nakobe Dean, Nolan Smith and five-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff.
Cristobal has made a living attracting top talent to Eugene, including current defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux – the second overall prospect in the class of 2019 and future first-round draft pick. The Ducks have finished in the best recruiting class in the Pac-12 for three straight seasons, which is one of the main reasons they found themselves repeatedly in the college football playoff hunt until November.
Lanning is also knowledgeable about the recruiting structure that Nick Saban and Kirby Smart have developed which will result in successful recruiting on the West Coast.
What’s going on with Georgia now?
The Bulldogs are on their way to the CFP, and all eyes are on Kirby Smart now as he faces a sticky training situation with one of the staff’s most important coaches. Luckily for Smart, he knows exactly how to deal with it. In fact, he was in Lanning’s place when he stayed with Saban in Alabama in the 2015 title race.
Muschamp replaced Scott Cochran as special teams coach when Cochran took a leave of absence, and giving him a bigger role as defensive coordinator is a natural fit. Say what you want from Muschamp as a head coach, but he’s been a phenomenal coordinator throughout his career. Schumann, the current defensive coordinator and inside linebacker coach, is highly regarded within the program and seen as a likely candidate to follow in Lanning’s footsteps as a rising star in the coaching industry.
Smart can handle this situation because he has been through it and has useful options on the staff.