ASU alumnus Kenny Dillingham to lead the school as the Power 5’s youngest head coach

Kenny Dillingham (Photo: Jason Fairchild, 247 Sports)

Scottsdale native and Arizona State graduate Kenny Dillingham He is expected to leave his job as offensive coordinator at Oregon State to become the next head football coach at ASU, with an official announcement expected to come no later than Sunday, two people familiar with the development told the Sun Devil Source.

Dillingham, 32, will become the youngest Power 5 coach in the country by four years, surpassing his boss at Oregon, 36. Dan Lanning.

It is believed that ASU had not previously had an alumnus as its head coach.

Dillingham would also be the first ASU head coach without major college or head coaching experience at the professional level since Larry Marmey was promoted from defensive coordinator to the top position in 1988.

The hiring would be an important strategic breakthrough for ASU President Michael Crowe, who over the past two decades in office has placed great value on Power 5 and NFL coaching experience.

Crow and ASU Vice President of Athletics Ray Anderson have faced heavy criticism from program boosters and the media for their handling of the Sun Devils in the past 18 months in an still-unfolding NCAA investigation into recruiting practices under former head coach Herm Edwards and his staff.

Dillingham is a fan favorite for the role on social media and message boards due to his local background and extensive understanding of Arizona High School football and ASU football. He coached at the Scottsdale Chaparral starting in 2007 through 2013, eventually rising to the role of offensive coordinator.

After earning his college degree at ASU, he worked as an offensive graduate assistant under a former coach Todd Graham In 2014 and 2015, working closely with the then school coordinator, Mike Norville.

When Norvell left to take over as the head coach of Memphis after the 2015 season, Dillingham went with him to be a graduate assistant in 2016. He then coached linebackers and tight ends in 2017 with the Tigers before becoming a quarterbacks coach rather than a linebacker. Call offensive coordinator in 2018.

Dillingham then spent one season in the same role at Auburn under the direction of the then head coach Joss Malzan before returning to Norville in 2020 at Florida State. He then left with Lanning—another former graduate assistant under Graham in 2012-13—to become the linebackers coach, offensive coordinator and play-caller for Oregon’s first run this season, reaching the semifinals for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s assistant coach. .

As Memphis coordinator in 2018, Norville’s offense ranked fourth in the country, averaging 523.1 yards per game, while setting program records for total yards (7,324) and rushing yards (3,919). The Tigers averaged 42.9 points per game as an All-American running back Daryl Henderson and former ASU quarterback Brady White leading the charge.

At Auburn, he directed Oregon’s current signal caller Bo Nix during his campaign for SEC Freshman of the Year. With Malzahn as the play-caller, Auburn had the No. 3 offense in the league that season, averaging 33.2 points per game.


He averages 288.4 yards passing (4th in the Pac-12) and 223.0 yards per game (2nd) with the scoring offense second in the conference, averaging 40.2 points per game.

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