It looks like the Arizona State Sun Devils have found their next head coach. After the Sun Devils parted ways with Herm Edwards back in September (following long discussions that he was likely gone), they had been linked to a lot of candidates. Those even included 58-year-old Fox analyst Urban Meyer. But, as per Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, it now looks like Arizona State has settled on a new, much younger, candidate. That would be Oregon Ducks‘ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kenny Dillingham:
Oregon OC Kenny Dillingham has emerged as the leading candidate to be Arizona State's next head coach, sources tell @SINow. Deal being finalized.
Dillingham, a 32-year-old who is an alum of ASU, was long-expected to be the Sun Devils’ top choice.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) November 27, 2022
Dillingham would also be the first Arizona State alumnus to become that school’s head football coach. He was born in Phoenix, grew up in Scottsdale, and started his coaching career at 17 after tearing his ACL. He started coaching with the junior varsity team at his school, Chaparral High School, then was promoted to offensive coordinator of the varsity team by 21. He also attended Arizona State during that time, and graduated with a degree in business and economics in 2012.
Dillingham’s college coaching path also started with the Sun Devils. He began there as an offensive assistant under offensive coordinator Mike Norvell in 2014. When Norvell went to take over as the head coach at Memphis in 2016, Dillingham followed as a graduate assistant, and became the Tigers’ official quarterbacks coach and tight ends coach in 2017. In 2018, he became Memphis’ offensive coordinator, then he moved to a role as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with the Auburn Tigers in 2019. He then joined Norvell at Florida State in 2020, and then joined Oregon last December, helping the Ducks to the third-most yards per game this season (ahead of Saturday’s games).
We’ll see if this deal comes true with Dillingham. If it does, it will certainly be interesting to see what such a young coach can do at the helm of a P5 program. After an 8-5 mark last year, the Sun Devils went 3-9 this year, including a 38-35 loss to Arizona in the Territorial Cup Friday.
[Ross Dellenger on Twitter; photo from Ben Lonergan/USA Today Sports]