Oregon head coach addresses Texas A&M football talk

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Fear not Oregon football fans, Dan Lanning said he’s not interested in the job opening at Texas A&M.

The second-year coach of the Ducks was emphatic Monday night during his weekly press conference when asked to address speculation that he is among the leading candidates to take over the Aggies, a middling team in the mighty Southeastern Conference with a deep-pocket donor base and inside a state rich with potential recruits.

‘I think I’ve been really, really clear here since day one,’ Lanning said. ‘Everything I want exists right here. I’m not going anywhere. There’s zero chance that I will be coaching somewhere else. I’ve got unfinished business here.’

That Lanning’s name found its way to the top of a list of potential coaching candidates is not shocking.

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The 37-year-old is 19-4 overall at Oregon, including 9-1 this season. With two weeks left in the regular season, the Ducks are poised to make the Pac-12 championship game and are sixth in the College Football Playoff rankings.

“I guess the reality here is my name and our program would never be a topic of conversation for another school if we didn’t have something here that everybody else wanted,’ Lanning said. ‘And the reason we have something here that everybody else wants, that’s because of our players, our coaches, and the support that exists here in Oregon.’

The Texas A&M job became available Sunday morning with the firing of coach Jimbo Fisher, who was 45-25 in six seasons in College Station. He had signed a new 10-year contract in 2021 with $95 million guaranteed. Texas A&M will have to pay more than $77 million to buy out Fisher’s deal.

Lanning and Oregon agreed to a six-year, $45 million contract extension in July that increased his salary from $4.7 million to $7 million this year, with $200,000 increases in each subsequent year.

The contract makes Lanning the second-highest-paid coach in the Pac-12 and roughly No. 15 nationally, Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens told the University of Oregon Board of Trustees in July.

Lanning’s salary is fully guaranteed and his buyout is $20 million − the amount that would need to be paid to Oregon if another school wanted to hire him away before the end of his contract in 2028. 

‘You know a lot of coaches hang on to these moments and they don’t do anything or don’t say anything, one, because they don’t want egg on their face when they decide to do something else,’ Lanning said. ‘Two, because they’re concerned about things that I’m not concerned about, like getting a better contract. I’m taken care of extremely well here at Oregon.’

The Ducks’ last two coaches before Lanning left for other jobs after short stints in Eugene.

Willie Taggart was at Oregon for one season in 2017 before replacing Jimbo Fisher at Florida State the year Fisher left for Texas A&M.

Mario Cristobal replaced Taggart and was at Oregon for four seasons before leaving for Miami before the 2021 Alamo Bowl.

‘I have the resources I need here at Oregon to be really, really successful,’ Lanning said. ‘I’m motivated by winning. I’m motivated by being elite here, and our players deserve my complete focus, our fans deserve the best product on the field. … I’ll continue to say it until I’m blue in the face, I want to be here at Oregon. That hasn’t changed. That won’t change.’ 

Follow Chris Hansen on Twitter@chansen_RG or email

This post appeared first on USA TODAY