As first reported by Chip Towers of the AJC on Friday, Dan Lanning appears set to be named head coach of the Oregon Ducks.
A time-tested MO for Power 5 athletic directors on the hunt for a head coach in to find an energetic young coach with proven recruiting chops and a track record as either a coordinator or a G5 head coach.
Lanning obviously fits that bill. The 35 year old Bulldog defensive coordinator has been instrumental in building Georgia’s stacked roster since coming to Athens as outside linebackers coach in 2018.
Since taking over for the departed Mel Tucker as defensive coordinator in 2019 his units have been somewhere between stout and unstoppable. In two seasons under Lanning’s leadership Georgia’s defense led the nation in rushing defense, scoring defense and rushing touchdowns allowed in both 2019 and 2020. Georgia finished third and second in total defense in those seasons.
In terms of a replacement, expect Georgia will elevate co-defensive coordinator Glenn Schumann, Coach Smart’s long-time right hand man, and Will Muschamp will assume his co--DC title (though Smart announced this evening that Lanning will remain with the ‘‘Dawgs for the upcoming playoff semi-final matchup with Michigan.)
If Kirby looks beyond his current staff next year for an additional defensive position coach he’s likely to have his pick of replacements given that the last two defensive coordinators at Georgia have now left for lucrative Power 5 heading coaching jobs. While it’s never a good time to lose a critical piece of your coaching staff, it’s the price of success. I’ll take this situation and the apparent smooth transition over begging someone to take Willie Martinez off our hnds any day.
This also adds a little extra zest to Georgia’s 2022 season opener against the Ducks in Atlanta as well.
Good luck to the Lannings in Eugene, and...