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Report: Dan Lanning set to be head coach at Oregon

The Georgia defensive coordinator heads west to lead a Pac-12 powerhouse.

Syndication: Online Athens
Defensive Coordinator and outside linebackers coach Dan Lanning works with his players before the start the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game between Georgia and Alabama in Atlanta, on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

Saturday evening update: It appears that the initial report from Chip Towers of the AJC was correct all along. Bruce Feldman of The Athletic is now reporting Dan Lanning to Eugene, OR.

Update 5:35 p.m. This is a conflicting reports personified. The West Coast Media pushing back East Coast #bias in real time. A Twitter experience to relish.

Update: There has been some conflicting reporting regarding this opening. Lanning is a candidate for the position, but hasn’t been officially hired yet per more reliable sources.

Georgia Bulldogs defensive coordinator Dan Lanning is set to join the Oregon Ducks as the team’s next head coach on Monday, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Lanning was among top coaching candidates in this cycle but was passed up for more proven head coaches at previous openings. Oregon seemed willing to take a chance on the young, defensive mastermind, who turns 36 in April. It’s unclear whether Lanning will stay on for Georgia’s College Football Playoff run this season.

The Ducks were forced to make a hire when Mario Cristobal left for Miami, his alma mater. Oregon has typically hired internally, with Mark Helfrich and Cristobal being the most recent notable names. However, the Ducks are not afraid to take chances on up-and-coming coaches as they did with Willie Taggart. There were rumors of Chip Kelly coming back but the Ducks decided to go with a defensive mind instead. This reported move also keeps up with the foundation set by Cristobal by building the team in the image of an SEC program through physical line play and coaches familiar with the recruiting landscape of the south.

Lanning oversaw one of the more dominant defenses the SEC has seen in the last decade, unit that held opponents to seven points or less seven times this season and came away with three outright shutouts. The Dawgs wreaked havoc on opposing offenses, piling up 41 sacks, 12 interceptions and eight forced fumbles, all while yielding just 4.0 yards per play through 13 games.

This bore out with individual honors as defensive lineman Jordan Davis took home both the Bednarik Award and the Outland Trophy while linebacker Nakobe Dean took home the Butkus Award.

Georgia and Oregon are set to play each other next season, so Bulldogs fans will get a chance to see Lanning in action as a head coach from the jump. Oregon finished 10-3 this season and was in the running for the playoff at one point, but got beat by Utah twice in a span of three weeks to push them out of a Pac-12 title and a Rose Bowl appearance.