Source: UO hires Georgia’s Lanning as head football coach

By RALPH D. RUSSO (AP College Football Writer)
Dec. 11, 2021 11:38 p.m.

A person involved in the negotiations says Oregon has hired Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning as its next head coach

The University of Oregon has hired Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning as its next head football coach, a person involved in the negotiations told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Oregon completed a deal with Lanning to replace Mario Cristobal, who was hired away by Miami earlier this week, said the person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the school had not yet made an official announcement.


The Atlanta Journal Constitution first reported on Friday that Oregon would hire Lanning.

The 35-year-old Lanning will be a first-time head coach with Oregon after spending the last four years at Georgia, the previous three as defensive coordinator.

No. 3 Georgia (12-1) has the top-ranked defense in the country this season and will play No. 2 Michigan in the College Football Playoff at the Orange Bowl on Dec. 31.

Oregon's coaching search lasted about four days after Cristobal went home to Miami following four full seasons in Eugene, Oregon. The Ducks went 35-13 under Cristobal, reaching the Pac-12 title game each of the last three seasons.


But Lanning will be their third head coach since Willie Taggart took the job after the 2016 season. Taggart lasted just one season in Eugene before he returned to his home state to coach Florida State.

Cristobal was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach in 2017.

Now Oregon is going outside the program again, reaching across the country to hire a defensive coordinator as head coach after decades of being led by coaches with offensive backgrounds, starting with Mike Bellotti in the 1990s to Chip Kelly in the 2000s.

Lanning is a Missouri native who did a stint as a graduate assistant at Alabama in 2015 before landing at Memphis as linebackers coach in 2016.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart hired him to be linebackers coach in 2018 and he was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2019.

The Bulldogs have ranked in the top 10 in yards per play allowed in each of the past three seasons.


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