750 The Game Staff
Dan Lanning again said Thursday morning that he’s not going anywhere.
After hearing his name heavily linked to Alabama’s opening following Nick Saban’s retirement, Lanning posted a video on his social media that said he is staying put.
Then, the Ducks head coach went on The Pat McAfee Show on ESPN to discuss the last 24 hours.
“I think getting your name put in the conversation speaks to what we’re doing right here, right now,” Lanning told McAfee. “But this decision has been made for me since I took this job. I love what we have here. I love the support, the administration I have. We’ve got the things built to where we can be that team. And we just got to continue to take steps in that direction to get where we want to be.”
Saban announced his retirement on Wednesday afternoon. By that evening, a report even said Lanning was already in Tuscaloosa, presumably to interview for the position of head coach.
Lanning said that was not the case, because he was at home watching a movie with his son.
“It was a distraction last night. My 13-year-old son Cade, we just started watching the Jason Bourne movie, and my phone’s blowing up, and it’s like, ‘Dad, it says you’re in Tuscaloosa right now.’ And I was like, we’re watching Jason Bourne, focus on the movie. Got to put the phone on do not disturb. It interrupted what we were handling last night.
We got great players that we’re looking to sign. All that became a distraction, for sure. Got players on our team reaching out. They know where I’m at. Ten toes down.”
As for why he remains so committed to Oregon, despite the allure of a job like Alabama, Lanning said he has everything he needs to win big in Eugene.
“When I think of Oregon I think of innovation. And we all know that college football is changing like crazy right now. And we’re ahead of the curve. We’ve got a plan. We’ve got great support. If there’s something I need, I can go ask for it. And a lot of things that a lot of coaches are driven by, that’s not really my motivation. It’s one thing: can we win. Can we win at a high level. Can we compete for championships. And that ability exists here.
“I think we have a program that can be the best in the nation as long as I keep this thing on track.”
Still, Lanning said Saban’s departure reminded him of just how legendary his former boss was in sports.
“The GOAT, man,” Lanning said of Saban’s legacy. “On my phone, I have a voicemail saved of the very first time Nick ever called me. It pops up on your phone, unknown caller, or no caller ID, so I didn’t answer. It was the greatest thing I ever did because now I have a voice message on my phone for the rest of my life.
“Working for Nick, that was the most influential year of my career. I got to work with Nick, Kirby (Smart), Lane (Kiffin), Mario (Cristobal), Mel Tucker, Billy Napier, I mean it was an all-star staff of people I got to be associated with. I felt like I got my doctorate in college football that year.”
When Lanning was hired to replace Mario Cristobal in December 2021, he signed a six-year contract worth $29.1 Million, an average of $4.7 Million per year. Then he went 10-3 in his first season at Oregon, and prior to year two he received a contract extension that elevated his annual salary to $7 Million. He then won 12 games this past season, thus adding another year to his contract, which now runs through 2029. His salary increases by $200,000 each year. His buyout is $20 Million.
Don’t miss John Canzano’s thoughts on Lanning again stating he is not leaving the University of Oregon on the Bald Faced Truth, afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.