7 candidates to replace Kenny Dillingham as offensive coordinator for the Ducks

This is a song and dance that Oregon Duck fans know all too well at this point.

On Saturday afternoon, less than an hour after the Ducks suffered an embarrassing collapse against the rival Oregon State Beavers and saw their regular season come to an end, it was reported that offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham would be leaving Eugene to take over as the new head coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils. Dillingham will now be the first head coach in college history to be born in the 1990s.

With the departure, Oregon now has a coaching vacancy at the offensive coordinator spot. This is not something new to Duck fans, as the OC and DC roles have been virtually a revolving door over the past decade, with several guys moving on to take better, higher-paying jobs elsewhere. It’s a good problem to have because it means that the team is finding success on the field.

However, it leaves us wondering who is going to be the next man to be calling plays in Eugene.

The search is still in very early stages, of course, but we cobbled together a few names that might be of some interest to either be promoted or hired, at Oregon. Take a look.

Junior Adams (Oregon Ducks WR Coach/Co-Offensive Coordinator)

(AP Photo/Andy Nelson)

Recent Coaching Resume

  • WR Coach, Co-OC for Oregon Ducks (2022-Present)

  • OC/WR Coach for Washington Huskies (2021)

  • WR Coach for Washington Huskies (2019-2021)

  • OC/WR Coach for Western Kentucky (2017-2018)

  • WR Coach for Boise State Broncos (2014-2016)

Promoting Junior Adams from WR coach and co-offensive coordinator seems like the most likely move that the Oregon Ducks will make at this point. It’s clear that Adams has the receiver group going in the right direction for the Ducks, with an absolute explosion at that position in both performance and recruiting this past year. Adams knows the system that Lanning wants to run, and he’s seen what has worked over the past year. In my mind, Adams is the early leader in the clubhouse to be promoted to the OC position.

Joe Brady (Buffalo Bills QB Coach)

Recent Coaching Resume

  • QB Coach for Buffalo Bills (2022-Present)

  • OC for Carolina Panthers (2020-21)

  • Passing Game Coordinator for LSU Tigers (2019)

  • Offensive Assistant for New Orleans Saints (2017-18)

As soon as you think of top offensive coordinator candidates, Joe Brady’s name has to immediately come to mind. The former LSU offensive coordinator helped a Joe Burrow-led squad win the national championship after a historic season in 2019, but has bounced around a bit since then. He more recently has served as the QB coach for Josh Allen in Buffalo after being fired by the Carolina Panthers. Regardless, he is still considered an elite offensive mind.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Brady was near the top of the list of guys that Lanning is considering, should the Ducks choose to try and bring in an outside hire.

Brennan Marion (Texas Longhorns WR Coach, Passing Game Coordinator)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Coaching Resume

  • WR Coach for Texas Longhorns (2022-Present)

  • WR Coach for Pittsburgh Panthers (2021)

  • WR Coach for Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (2020)

  • OC/QB Coach for William & Mary (2019)

  • OC/QB Coach for Howard (2017-2018)

Another incredibly hot name on the up-and-coming coaching market is Texas Longhorns wide receivers coach Brennan Marion. If you don’t know anything about him, read this piece from USA Today about his brand of offense and how it could be the next big thing in college football. His “GoGo” style is quite possibly revolutionary and has already trickled up to the NFL level in certain instances, described as a “completely unorthodox offense marrying the tenets of old-school triple-option run games with modern-day spread concepts.”

It’s pretty clear that Marion will be given a shot to become an OC at a notable college in the near future as he continues to work his way up the coaching ladder. Would Mullens take a shot and try to bring that GoGo style to Oregon? This is the school that introduced Chip Kelly to the world, and look where that took the Ducks. Now, the college football world is largely running the spread-style up-tempo brand of football that Kelly popularized, and not looking back.

Might Brennan Marion be the next Chip Kelly?

It’s a risky bet to take, but we’ve seen this year that Dan Lanning is willing to take a lot of risks. I’m not sure how confident I feel about this hire happening, but it’s worth a look in my opinion.

Drew Mehringer (Oregon Ducks Tight Ends Coach)

(Photograph Courtesy of Zachary Neel | USA TODAY Sports)

Coaching Resume

  • TE Coach for Oregon Ducks (2022-Present)

  • Co-OC/QB Coach for New Mexico (2021)

  • Co-OC/WR Coach for Florida Atlantic (2020)

  • WR Coach for Texas Longhorns (2017-2019)

It seems like a small chance that Drew Mehringer would be promoted to the OC position over Junior Adams, but if the Ducks are aiming to keep things in-house, I think this is another name to keep an eye on. Similar to the wide receiver position, the tight ends have seen a resurgence in Eugene this year under Mehringer, who clearly has displayed a knowledge for how this offense should be run. He’s a great offensive mind who has experience as an OC and QB coach, so it could lead to a promotion in his future.

Scott Frost (Former Nebraska Cornhuskers Head Coach)

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Coaching Resume

  • HC for Nebraska Cornhuskers (2018-2022)

  • HC for UCF Knights (2016-2017)

  • OC/QB Coach for Oregon Ducks (2013-2015)

  • WR Coach for Oregon Ducks (2009-2012)

This one is relatively low on the list of likelihood in my opinion, but because of his recent firing at Nebraska, I think that Scott Frost’s name should be mentioned. He was the OC at Oregon during the peak of Duck success last decade, and worked with the likes of Darron Thomas and Marcus Mariota. I’m not sure that Frost would take a demotion down to the OC level after being the HC at a historic Power 5 school, but if he’s looking for a familiar place to get his career back on track, Oregon might not be the worst place.

Again, I don’t believe this one will happen, but it’s an interesting thought.

Brian Hartline (Ohio State WR Coach/Passing Game Coordinator)

Coaching Resume

  • WR Coach/Passing Game Coordinator for Ohio State Buckeyes (2022-Present)

  • WR Coach for Ohio State Buckeyes (2018-2021)

  • Offensive Quality Control Assistant for Ohio State (2017)

If you’re talking about up-and-coming offensive assistant coaches who have a chance to make a leap to the coordinator position, Ohio State’s Brian Hartline should be near the top of your list. He is considered one of the top recruiters in the nation (ranked No. 2 recruiter in the nation according to 247 Sports) and what he’s done with the Buckeyes’ receiving corps can’t be ignored.

With Marvin Harrison Jr. and Jaxson Smith-Njigba leading the way, it’s no question that Ohio State is home to the best receiving group in the nation. Hartline was also named the top recruiter in the nation in 2020. He shows promise as an offensive mind and could explode on the scene if given the opportunity to call plays at a major level.

Todd Hartley (Georgia Bulldogs TE Coach)

Coaching Resume

  • TE Coach for Georgia Bulldogs (2019-2022)

  • TE Coach/Special Teams Coordinator for Miami Hurricanes (2016-2018)

  • Director of Player Personnel for Georgia Bulldogs (2015)

  • TE/Safeties coach for Marshall (2011-2014)

This one seems like an off-the-radar hire for Oregon, but I wanted to look at some coaches that Dan Lanning worked with in Georgia and see if there was anyone that made sense to take the step up as next OC for the Ducks. Todd Hartley seems to fit the bill. He is a great recruiter and has coached the nation’s best tight end group down in Athens, getting the most from guys like Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington. In his time as a TE coach, he’s also worked with guys like David Njoku, and Charlie Woerner.

Should Oregon choose to bring in an outside hire, and Lanning looks to his past to find some talent, I think that Hartley might find himself onto the list of candidates.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire