Dan Lanning is Not Interested in Openings, Staying at Oregon

Dan Lanning
Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning talks with quarterback Bo Nix (10) during the second quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at Mercedes Benz Stadium, Saturday, September 3, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

This is the time of the year in College Football, when coaches may be fired and job openings become available. It’s also that time when rumors start to fly around. One of the biggest rumors going around right now is that there is “mutual interest between the Auburn Tigers and Dan Lanning.”

So while you can believe that rumor, if you’d like. However, you should also note that that article came from “Fan Nation” which is part of the Sports Illustrated Network. Though according to John Canzano who talked to Lanning and his agent, there is zero interest.

In order to know who Dan Lanning is, you have to look at where he comes from: Oregon’s coach grew up in North Kansas City, Missouri. The population is 4,500. The college that he went to, William Jewell College plays Division II. So for Lanning, No job in the Division 1 ranks will be a dream job like it has been for the two previous head coaches of Oregon Football: Mario Cristobal (Miami) and Willie Taggart (left for Florida State). The latter barely moved his family to Eugene, which was one of the first things that Lanning did.

Reasons Dan Lanning will stay:

  1. Building something special – Since the first game against Georgia, the Ducks have outscored their opponents 385-188. They have made an impressive turnaround, and look like a completely new team. Most of that scoring for the opponents has come with the reserves in for Oregon. Bucky Irving, a sophomore running back transfer from Minnsota, has played a key role in the success. So has Sophomore Noah Whittington, who transferred from Western Kentucky. However, not only has the offense been special to watch. Outside of the Washington State, and Georgia games, the starting defense has not given up more than 30 points in a game. Lanning fits the culture that Phil Knight and the Oregon sports program want to build.
  2. Recruiting Class – According to 24/7 sports, the Oregon Ducks have the 11th-highest recruiting class, the third-highest the Ducks have received in the last five years. With this year being Lanning’s first official class, there is reason to believe that he would not bail on the Ducks. The 2023 class includes 22 commits, two of which are five-star recruits. One of those five-star recruits is highly touted QB Dante Moore, who many believe has a chance to come in and start as a freshman.
  3. College Football Playoff chances – Moving to Auburn, Lanning would have a harder time getting his team into a CFP spot, even with an expanded scenario. As an undefeated or one-loss Pac-12 Champ at Oregon, Lanning and the Ducks would be in the CFP year after year, which would look better on the resume for recruits, and it would draw more top recruits in. Even this year, the Ducks have a chance to get back for the first time since 2014.

In order for any team to take Lanning away from Oregon, they will have a hefty buyout on his current contract at $14 Million. At some point, he could get restless and move on to an SEC team or on to the NFL, but for now, Lanning is at Oregon in the near future. The Ducks head coach will be asked about it later today, so take his word on it.

“First, I will say things like this are going to come up when you have team success and when you do your job and things go the way they’re supposed to go,” Lanning said. “”That’s a credit really to our team. That being said, I think there’s a little bit of a problem in society today with people looking for what’s next and where there’s an opportunity and the reality is the grass is not always green. In fact, the grass is damn green in Eugene and I want to be here in Eugene for as long as Eugene will have me.”

“This place has everything that I could possibly ever want, my family could ever want. I’ve got an 11-year-old that’s lived in eight states; the last thing I ever want to do is leave. I want to enjoy this opportunity here. It’s been a phenomenal place for us and when you talk about things that align, things that match your vision of what you’re looking for as a head coach, Oregon checks every box for me. … I think history maybe shows that this is a great place to be and not a great place to leave. I want to be here. Hopefully that’s the last time I have to really address it.”

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