Coach Dan Lanning commits to Oregon return amid Alabama rumors

Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Dan Lanning committed to coach Oregon next season, amid speculation that he would leave to become Nick Saban's replacement at Alabama, the Ducks coach announced Thursday on social media.

"I want to be here in Eugene, Ore., for as long as Eugene will have me," Lanning said in a video posted to his Instagram and X accounts. "This place has everything I could possibly ever want.


"There is a little bit of a problem in society today with people looking for what's next and where there is an opportunity. The reality is, the grass is not always greener. In fact, the grass is [expletive] green in Eugene."

Lanning, 37, was a graduate assistant under Saban in 2015 at Alabama. He also had stops at Arizona State, Sam Houston State, Memphis and Georgia.

Lanning, who was the defensive coordinator at Georgia from 2019 to 2021, was hired at Oregon in 2022. He led the Ducks to a 10-3 record in his first season. The Ducks were 12-2 in 2023.


The Ducks averaged 44.2 points per game this season, second best in college football. They allowed 16.5 points per game, the ninth-best mark in the nation. They ranked 10th in points per game and 75th in points allowed in 2022.

Saban announced his retirement Wednesday, ending one of the most-successful tenures in college football history. Crimson Tide athletic director Greg Byrne said in a statement that the program will have a "thorough, but expedient," search for Saban's replacement.

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