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The Oregon Ducks are hiring Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning as their new head coach, announced Saturday. Lanning is slated to be introduced alongside Ducks AD Rob Mullens on Monday.
As part of the Georgia defensive staff since 2018, Lanning has orchestrated a key element in Kirby Smart’s system for success with the Bulldogs. The 35-year-old Lanning had a spectacular 2021 campaign calling Georgia’s defense, the nation’s top-ranked unit.
Per CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee, the Georgia defense under Lanning led several season-end defensive stats, such as “defensive yards allowed per play (4.01) and scoring defense (9.5 points per game).”
From 2019-2021 as the team’s defensive coordinator, Lanning orchestrated two top-5 defenses and spearheaded the best defense of the regular season this year, drawing notoriety as an all-time great season.
Lanning will remain with Georgia heading into their College Football Playoff matchup against the Michigan Wolverines (No. 2), according to coach Smart.
“While he will coach with us for the upcoming College Football Playoff, we will move forward with Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp as co-defensive coordinators. Dan and I are both looking forward to preparing for the CFP,” Smart commented.
He also gave Lanning a friendly departing note.
“We are so happy for Dan and his family,” Smart said. “He and [wife] Sophia have been an important part of our Bulldog family for the last four years and we thank them for all they did for Georgia football and the Athens community. Opportunities like this are a testament to a successful program. While he will coach with us for the upcoming College Football Playoff, we will move forward with Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp as co-defensive coordinators. Dan and I are both looking forward to preparing for the CFP.”
One-time Ducks head coach Chip Kelly was also a strongly considered option for the role and will now likely stay in Southern California as UCLA’s play-caller.
AD Rob Mullens spoke on the Lanning hire Saturday afternoon.
“Dan is an outstanding, high-energy football coach who will provide a world-class experience for our football student-athletes. He is a tremendous recruiter and developer of talent, and we will continue to compete for championships while providing an environment where our football student-athletes can develop to their fullest potential in the classroom, on the football field, and as people. We are grateful for the opportunity to have Dan as the leader of our football program, and we look forward to the positive impact he will have on our student-athletes.”
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela