Oregon Ducks offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham has been suggested as one possible candidate for the Arizona State football coaching job.
It would make sense to include Dillingham as he is a native Arizonan and started his coaching career in 2014 as an offensive assistant with the Sun Devils right out of high school.
Wherever Dillingham has been, the offenses have flourished. He has coached in six bowls. He has only been in Eugene for less than a year and the better the Ducks offense performs this season, the quicker Dillingham will get a head coaching position somewhere.
Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson has said the Sun Devils will do a national search for Herm Edwards’ replacement, so Dillingham will be just one of several candidates ASU will look at.
Here are just a few possibilities that Anderson will take a look at.
Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers head coach
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Matt Rhule turned a 1-11 Baylor team to 11-1 in just three seasons from 2017-19. But the NFL hasn’t been easy as he is just 10-25 in two-plus seasons. Carolina is 0-2 this year and Rhule could be on his way out and back into the college ranks sooner than he planned.
Jonathan Smith, Oregon State head coach
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Could Smith pull a Mike Riley and leave Corvallis for another Pac-12 school? It’s hard to believe that this would be the case because unlike the Riley move where USC was the better job, right now OSU is a better job than Arizona State. They would have to back the Brink’s truck to his house for Smith to consider the position.
Justin Wilcox, California head coach
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Another Pac-12 coach to consider for Arizona State and this time, Tempe would be the better destination. But if his alma mater of Oregon couldn’t convince Wilcox to leave, what does ASU have to offer that the Ducks couldn’t besides the desert sun? Still, there seems to be a better chance the Sun Devils land Wilcox than they do Jonathan Smith.
Kalani Sitake, BYU head coach
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Sitake is in a similar situation as Jonathan Smith. He’s coaching at his alma mater and thriving at said place. But Sitake might have accomplished all he can at BYU and could be looking for another challenge. If ASU could pull him away, this would be a homerun hire.
Byron Leftwich, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator
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Leftwich has been assumed to land a NFL head coaching job soon. But he’s still waiting for some reason. He won a Super Bowl as the Bucs OC. Perhaps the college scene could be the way to go for the former Marshall star. Whether it’s in college or the NFL, he deserves a head coaching position somewhere. He’s more than earned it.
Deion Sanders, Jackson State head coach
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Could Coach Prime be headed to Tempe? He’s already proven he can recruit big-time talent to Jackson State. Sanders might be the guy who can sell Arizona State to recruits like no other. The Sun Devils have been called a sleeping giant of a program for a long time. Sanders finally might be the guy with the alarm clock.
Kenny Dillingham, Oregon Ducks offensive coordinator
A native-born son of Arizona and an alum at Arizona State, Dillingham is one of the hot young offensive coordinator names to keep an eye on. Oregon fans knew that he would likely get poached for a head coaching job within the next 5 years, but it could be the case that his alma mater comes calling in his first year with the Ducks.