Tom Hauck/Getty Images
Oregon head coach Dan Lanning reaffirmed his commitment to the school after he was linked with the newly vacated position at Texas A&M.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he told reporters Monday. “There’s zero chance I’m coaching somewhere else.”
Doug Scott @DouglasTSpic.twitter.com/FSrcpEYRyX
A&M fired Jimbo Fisher following its 6-4 start to the 2023 season. While the Aggies haven’t gotten their coaching search underway, Lanning quickly emerged as a potential candidate thanks to his early success with the Ducks.
Lanning can’t really do anything else in this moment.
Oregon has two games left in the regular season with a shot to claim a Pac-12 title and perhaps earn a College Football Playoff bid. The last thing its coach will want to do is invite speculation about his future.
With that in mind, the assurances Lanning’s providing now may not be ironclad. Oklahoma fans will still recall Lincoln Riley indicating he planned to stay right where he was before accepting the USC job less than 24 hours later.
There’s nothing stopping Lanning from bolting for A&M or another school once Oregon’s season is over or if the Ducks miss out on the playoff.
Having said all of that, his comments echo what he said last fall when he was mentioned as a candidate for the Auburn job. Beyond telling reporters “the grass is not always greener,” he emphasized a desire to put down roots in Eugene after having moved his family around the country already in his young career.
Brandon Marcello @bmarcelloOregon’s Dan Lanning was asked about a fan blog affiliated with Sports Illustrated reporting “mutual interest” between him and Auburn.
Lanning’s initial response — shaking his head in disbelief — is what you’d expect.
Media literacy is important, even in the silly world of CFB. pic.twitter.com/YKKSGwAHZZ
Lanning might have had his predecessors in mind when he reflected that another job may not be as good as what he has in Oregon.
Chip Kelly’s stock never fully recovered after he left for the NFL and lasted four years before returning to the college ranks. The same is true for Willie Taggart, who didn’t make it two full seasons with Florida State. Mario Cristobal, meanwhile, might be on the same trajectory with an 11-11 record so far at Miami.
The Ducks are on pace to have their fourth 10-win season in five years. Thanks to the efforts of Cristobal and Lanning, they’ve built even deeper recruiting pipelines into Southern California. Their move to the Big Ten promises more in terms of revenue and nationwide exposure.
It’s easy to see why Lanning believes he has everything he needs in his current post to succeed at the highest level.