EUGENE — Oregon is hiring Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning as its next head coach, a source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive.
On Friday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Lanning was to be hired at UO with an official announcement to come on Monday. Friday afternoon a source told The Oregonian/OregonLive that Lanning, a two-time finalist for the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach, was a candidate at Oregon but he had not been hired yet.
Saturday afternoon it became official: Lanning is Oregon’s next head coach.
Lanning, 35, was promoted to defensive coordinator at UGA in 2019 and has called the plays for the Bulldogs since.
Georgia’s defense leads the country in scoring (9.5 points per game), is second in total defense (253.2 yards per game) and is third against both the run (81.69 ypg.) and pass (171.5 ypg.) and is 15th on third-down conversions (32.84%).
Under his coordination, Georgia’s defense led the nation in rushing defense in both 2019 (74.6 ypg) and 2020 (72.3 ypg), in scoring defense in 2019 (12.6 ppg), and in rushing touchdowns allowed in 2019 (2, UGA record). The Bulldogs ranked 2nd and 3rd nationally in total defense in the 2020 and 2019 seasons
A native of Richmond, Missouri, Lanning played linebacker at William Jewell College in Missouri and got into coaching at Park Hill South High School (Mo.), serving as the special teams coordinator, defensive backs coach and wide receivers coach from 2008-10. He became a graduate assistant at Pittsburgh under Todd Graham in 2011 and followed him to Arizona State in 2012 and was promoted to on-campus recruiting coordinator in 2013.
Lanning began his on-field coaching at the college level as defensive backs coach at Sam Houston State in 2014, then spent 2015 as a graduate assistant at Alabama, which won the national championship. He was hired as inside linebackers coach at Memphis in December 2015 and spent two seasons in that role before joining Kirby Smart’s staff at Georgia as outside linebackers coach in 2018.
Terms were not immediately released for UO’s contract with Lanning, who earned $1.25 million in 2020 and is in the first of a three-year contract paying him $1.7 million this season, $1.75 million in 2022 and $1.8 million in 2023. His buyout to UGA is waived because he’s becoming an FBS head coach.
Lanning is No. 8 in the 247Sports recruiter rankings this season, involved in recruiting seven of Georgia’s 24 commits, including three of the top 200 prospects in the class.
He’s been involved in recruiting 19 four- or five-star prospects during his time at Georgia, including linebacker Nolan Smith, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2019 class, and has been the primary recruiter for seven of them.
Oregon and Georgia open the 2022 season in a Chick-fil-A Kickoff game on Sept. 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.