Arizona State is finalizing a deal to make Oregon offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham the school’s next coach, sources told ESPN on Saturday.
Dillingham is a 2012 graduate from Arizona State and a native of Arizona. He’s a former high school coach in the state and started his college career at Arizona State as an offensive assistant in 2014.
Dillingham, 32, will become the youngest coach in the Power Five. He replaces Herm Edwards, who was fired in September after a loss to Eastern Michigan and leaves a program that went 3-9 after massive losses in the transfer portal and is in the throes of a major NCAA investigation.
Dillingham has worked as the offensive coordinator at Memphis, Auburn and Florida State, working for Mike Norvell and Gus Malzahn. He’s done his best work this year under first-year coach Dan Lanning, who came from the defensive side of the ball.
The Ducks have a top-5 scoring offense, and Dillingham has helped rejuvenate the career of quarterback Bo Nix, who has been one of the best players in college football after an uneven career at Auburn.
Dillingham will take over one of the most challenging jobs in college football. Arizona State’s uncertain leadership, pending NCAA investigation and gutted roster make Dillingham’s task one of the tallest in college football.
Few rosters have been impacted more negatively by the transfer portal than ASU, and that talent drain showed as ASU lost four consecutive games to the end of the season. The looming Notice of Allegations from the NCAA has cast a shroud over the program.
ASU bottomed out this year with a 38-35 loss to Arizona, which ended a five-game Arizona State losing streak.
Part of the attraction to ASU officials was Dillingham’s local ties, as the state of Arizona has begun to produce top talent.
Sports Illustrated first reported Dillingham as ASU’s top candidate.