Scottsdale native and Arizona State graduate Kenny Dillingham He is expected to leave his job as Oregon’s offensive coordinator to become ASU’s next head coach. An official announcement is expected to be made no later than Sunday, two people familiar with the development told Sun Devil Source.
Dillingham, 32, would become the youngest Power 5 head coach in the country at four, overtaking his Oregon boss, the 36-year-old Dan Lanning.
It is believed that ASU has never had an alumnus as head coach before.
Dillingham would also be ASU’s first head coach with no major experience as a head coach at the collegiate or professional levels since Larry Marmie was promoted from defensive coordinator to the top job in 1988.
The hiring would be a significant strategic move for ASU President Michael Crow, who has placed great value on the experience of Power 5 and NFL head coaching in his role over the past two decades.
Crow and ASU Athletics Vice President Ray Anderson have faced scathing criticism from the program’s boosters and media over the past 18 months in an ongoing NCAA investigation into recruiting practices under former coach Herm Edwards and his staff.
Dillingham is a fan favorite for the social media and message board role due to his local background and extensive understanding of Arizona high school football and ASU football. He coached as a student at Scottsdale Chaparral from 2007 to 2013, eventually rising to the role of offensive coordinator.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from ASU, he served under the former coach as an offense assistant Death Graham 2014 and 2015, where he worked closely with the school’s then offensive coordinator, Mike Norvell.
When Norvell left Memphis after the 2015 season to take the job as Memphis head coaching, Dillingham joined him in 2016 to work there as a graduate assistant. He then coached quarterbacks and tight ends for the Tigers in 2017 before becoming their quarterbacks coach and non-play offensive coordinator call-up in 2018.
Dillingham then spent a season in the same role at Auburn under the then manager Gus Malzahn before returning to Norvell, Florida in 2020. He then left Lanning – another former assistant under Graham in 2012-13 – to become a quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator and play-caller for the first time this season in Oregon, where he is a semifinalist for the annual Broyles Award the best assistant coach in the nation.
As Memphis’ coordinator in 2018, Norvell’s offense ranked fourth in the country averaging 523.1 yards per game while setting program records in total yards (7,324) and rushing yards (3,919). The Tigers averaged 42.9 points per game with All-American running back Darrell Henderson and former ASU quarterback Brady White lead the charge.
At Auburn, he oversaw Oregon’s current signal caller Bo Nix during his SEC Freshman of the Year campaign. With Malzahn as the play-caller, Auburn had been the No. 3 goalscorer in the league that season, averaging 33.2 points per game.
The Ducks average 288.4 pass yards (fourth in the Pac-12) and 223.0 rush yards per game (runner-up) with the conference’s second-ranked scoring offense averaging 40.2 points per game.