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Mullens Takes a Mulligan, Then Makes the Right Hire

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The thoughts, opinions, and hot takes of so many all over the internet over the past three days have probably left most die-hard Oregon Ducks fans’ heads spinning. I’ve spent the last 72 hours or so jotting down enough ideas on the Dan Lanning hire to do a dozen articles, but in the name of keeping things relevant on the ...

 

Read the full article here...

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Mike Bellotti was head coach at Chico State for four years, 1984-1988.  His record at Chico was 21-25-2.  Brooks then hired him to become Oregon's OC.  (Thank you Wikipedia)  Bellotti had a very nice background when he became Oregon's head coach.

 

I'd prefer it if Lanning a few years as HC but I'm all in with him.

Edited by DuckHeart
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I must have missed the evidence that Justin Wilcox was offered the job.  Is there a Mullins or Wilcox quote out there?
 

Maybe the two of them allowed a face-saving rumor to circulate to also soothe the egos of the former player letter writers.

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Ah, that's right, blanked out the Chico State years....

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On 12/14/2021 at 7:16 AM, Grandpa Duck said:

I must have missed the evidence that Justin Wilcox was offered the job.  Is there a Mullins or Wilcox quote out there?
 

Maybe the two of them allowed a face-saving rumor to circulate to also soothe the egos of the former player letter writers.

 

I'm not a big fan of Canzano, although he does seem to be well-sourced.  That said, I agree no other evidence that Wilcox was actually offered the job has surfaced.  Not saying it didn't happen, but seems suspect without corroboration.  Not sure that ever happens.

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Darren, I agree that the Harrington Letter was misguided. But only because it was intercepted and published. Had it been seen only by Mullens, as intended, I believe he would have read and appreciated the feelings of concerned Ducks legends. 

 

What would Alabama do? I actually think they'll go where I didn't want Oregon to go. Back to a former player for their next coach. This player didn't have as solid a playing history at 'Bama as Justin Wilcox did at Oregon, but his coaching career has been spectacular.

 

I think that Dabo Swinney will return to his alma mater and replace Nick Saban. Clemson's good, but it isn't Alabama. 

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Darren, that article sums it all up. Nice breakdown.

 

Those previous players were loyal to a fellow Duck and the nostalgia of a wonderful past. Like going home for the holidays. Fond memories, the safety of family. (Well most families)

 

The steps to win a Natty are not safe. High stake gambles with more risk than rewards. No fond family memories because the National Championship has not yet been ours to bring home.

 

Sure Coach Lanning is a risk. You want a Natty, you take risks.

 

As for Coach leaving. It's part of the business.  If Coach Lanning is offered a job as HC at Bama, Georgia, Ohio State ?

 

Well maybe its because the Ducks beat them on the field in the Natty.

 

Excited that we took that risk.

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My thought on Hiring Wilcox or Kelley was a move to go backwards over time. With the transfer portal, I think we would have seen even more transfers if either one was hired. I think it has already been shown that Lanning is good, he convinced 7 to stay, which was huge.

 

I do not think Kelly or Wilcox would have, nor do I think they would have recruited well this year or next year and with the transfer portal, I don't think the fall of Oregon would have been several years, we would have fallen from 10-3 to 8-5 maybe in the first year.

 

Not knocking either, but they would have been a step back. I personally am stoked over the hire, much more so than a Wilcox or Kelley or even a Kiffin, was not a big fan of him. 

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Good take Darren, thanks.

 

What will Bama do when Saban leaves, if he ever leaves. Hire Lane Kiffin, Jimbo Fisher, the top pro candidate available or anyone else Bama wants. BTW, Bama has a football budget far bigger than Oregon. Bama sells out a 100,000 seat stadium every Saturday.

 

I like this hire. Oregon was COOL! under Kelly and Cristobal did all he could to wreck the brand. Yes, this is a risky hire. But it is a reasonable risk, hiring a young man with coaching experience at a Playoff quality school and also out west at ASU. And without calculated risk you will never have an excellent ROI.

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What Alabama did when they hired Saban was wait for an elite experienced college coach to finish his failure at the NFL level. This is also where sc had success with Pete.

 

The only change I would have made was waiting for Matt Rhule to finish out at the Carolina Panthers. What has been proven to be a success is hiring NFL coaches who have proven themselves at the college level.

 

Maybe Rhule wasn't interested in the Oregon job, but that is where I would have gone, and I bet the PK group reached out to check interest. Rhule is a proven high level college coach who will be poached to an elite program sooner than later.

 

This may be the way programs use to do it, and it is no longer the way to do it.  Now it is all the rage to hire the next great young coach at the college and pro level. 

 

I am extremely happy with the Lanning hire, and think he will get all the support needed to succeed greatly.

 

That is the only thing I would add to your great take, other than questioning continuing the Canzano line that Wilcox was offered and declined the job. Until I hear or see evidence of the t-shirts, or first hand evidence, it is just another story by Canzano with nothing behind it other than an attempt to sell his product. Call me a skeptic, guilty as charged!

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Great article, loved the "building" analogy of the former coaches.

 

Time to take the next step

 

Go Ducks 

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Very thorough article Darren. Now I think I have a good understanding of what is going on. What is unfortunate is Mario leaving just before national signing day. Secondly our new coach is still coaching rather than trying to bring back the recruits full time. Oh well.......changes like this are never perfect. GO DUCKS!

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On 12/14/2021 at 3:05 AM, FishDuck Article said:

The thoughts, opinions, and hot takes of so many all over the internet over the past three days have probably left most die-hard Oregon Ducks fans’ heads spinning. I’ve spent the last 72 hours or so jotting down enough ideas on the Dan Lanning hire to do a dozen articles, but in the name of keeping things relevant on the ...

 

Read the full article here...

I'm not sold that Wilcox was offered the job. As others have noted no evidence has been provided that have presented this to be the case. Clearly Canzano has had no issue not only releasing his evidence but he also has done so at the disdain of the people who created it. If he had evidence proving that wilcox was offered i have no doubt he would have provided it.(even if slightly redacted). 

 

Let's not forget on thursday the reports noted that Chip Kelly had been offered the job as well. On saturday(the week prior) their were reports that cristobal was staying. All in all I trust that Mullens made the right hire. This isn't to say other coaches couldn't have been offered i do believe there was a NFL offer floated that could have been turned down as well.

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On 12/14/2021 at 7:42 AM, noDucknewby said:

 

I'm not a big fan of Canzano, although he does seem to be well-sourced.  That said, I agree no other evidence that Wilcox was actually offered the job has surfaced.  Not saying it didn't happen, but seems suspect without corroboration.  Not sure that ever happens.

 

 

I would think if it wasn't true Mullens and Wilcox probably say something like "that didn't happen," but you never know... 

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On 12/14/2021 at 7:52 AM, 30Duck said:

Darren, I agree that the Harrington Letter was misguided. But only because it was intercepted and published. Had it been seen only by Mullens, as intended, I believe he would have read and appreciated the feelings of concerned Ducks legends. 

 

What would Alabama do? I actually think they'll go where I didn't want Oregon to go. Back to a former player for their next coach. This player didn't have as solid a playing history at 'Bama as Justin Wilcox did at Oregon, but his coaching career has been spectacular.

 

I think that Dabo Swinney will return to his alma mater and replace Nick Saban. Clemson's good, but it isn't Alabama. 

 

Do we know the letter wasn't read by Mullens? Offering the job to Wilcox shows he did take those feelings to heart. 

 

Yes, Dabo would be a good one for Alabama. 

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On 12/14/2021 at 7:56 AM, HappyToBeADuck said:

Darren, that article sums it all up. Nice breakdown.

 

Those previous players were loyal to a fellow Duck and the nostalgia of a wonderful past. Like going home for the holidays. Fond memories, the safety of family. (Well most families)

 

The steps to win a Natty are not safe. High stake gambles with more risk than rewards. No fond family memories because the National Championship has not yet been ours to bring home.

 

Sure Coach Lanning is a risk. You want a Natty, you take risks.

 

As for Coach leaving. It's part of the business.  If Coach Lanning is offered a job as HC at Bama, Georgia, Ohio State ?

 

Well maybe its because the Ducks beat them on the field in the Natty.

 

Excited that we took that risk.

 

Yeah, that's the upside, if Lanning takes a job with an A+ program, then it means he really kicked some butt with the Ducks. I'll take it!

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On 12/14/2021 at 8:30 AM, Arctuniol said:

My thought on Hiring Wilcox or Kelley was a move to go backwards over time. With the transfer portal, I think we would have seen even more transfers if either one was hired. I think it has already been shown that Lanning is good, he convinced 7 to stay, which was huge.

 

I do not think Kelly or Wilcox would have, nor do I think they would have recruited well this year or next year and with the transfer portal, I don't think the fall of Oregon would have been several years, we would have fallen from 10-3 to 8-5 maybe in the first year.

 

Not knocking either, but they would have been a step back. I personally am stoked over the hire, much more so than a Wilcox or Kelley or even a Kiffin, was not a big fan of him. 

 

Yeah, is seems the players are pretty stoked. An energetic young guy with a great SEC pedigree is way more exciting and brings a way better vibe than Wilcox or Kelly would have brought. Agreed, more players would be transferring if the Ducks brought back Wilcox or Kelly. 

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On 12/14/2021 at 9:39 AM, Darren Perkins said:

I would think if it wasn't true Mullens and Wilcox probably say something like "that didn't happen," but you never know..

 

 They might. But Mullens has his coach and Wilcox has shown he's not a spotlight seeker,  I feel that both just want to move on.

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On 12/14/2021 at 8:58 AM, Jon Joseph said:

Good take Darren, thanks.

 

What will Bama do when Saban leaves, if he ever leaves. Hire Lane Kiffin, Jimbo Fisher, the top pro candidate available or anyone else Bama wants. BTW, Bama has a football budget far bigger than Oregon. Bama sells out a 100,000 seat stadium every Saturday.

 

I like this hire. Oregon was COOL! under Kelly and Cristobal did all he could to wreck the brand. Yes, this is a risky hire. But it is a reasonable risk, hiring a young man with coaching experience at a Playoff quality school and also out west at ASU. And without calculated risk you will never have an excellent ROI.

 

I give MC credit for proving that you can recruit BIG to Oregon, that's where he takes his place in history in Eugene. Without him doing so, that I think it is possible a guy like Lanning doesn't take the job because his advisors would be telling him, "lower recrutiing ceiling, you can't recruit there at a top-10 level."  

Edited by Darren Perkins
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On 12/14/2021 at 9:02 AM, Haywarduck said:

What Alabama did when they hired Saban was wait for an elite experienced college coach to finish his failure at the NFL level. This is also where sc had success with Pete.

 

The only change I would have made was waiting for Matt Rhule to finish out at the Carolina Panthers. What has been proven to be a success is hiring NFL coaches who have proven themselves at the college level.

 

Maybe Rhule wasn't interested in the Oregon job, but that is where I would have gone, and I bet the PK group reached out to check interest. Rhule is a proven high level college coach who will be poached to an elite program sooner than later.

 

This may be the way programs use to do it, and it is no longer the way to do it.  Now it is all the rage to hire the next great young coach at the college and pro level. 

 

I am extremely happy with the Lanning hire, and think he will get all the support needed to succeed greatly.

 

That is the only thing I would add to your great take, other than questioning continuing the Canzano line that Wilcox was offered and declined the job. Until I hear or see evidence of the t-shirts, or first hand evidence, it is just another story by Canzano with nothing behind it other than an attempt to sell his product. Call me a skeptic, guilty as charged!

 

Yeah, who knows, but obviously Canzano is deeply plugged into the Oregon Athletic Department. Though, if it is not true, I would think there would have been a statement of denial by now by Mullens and/or Wilcox. But, you never know.... 

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On 12/14/2021 at 9:03 AM, shawnski said:

Great article, loved the "building" analogy of the former coaches.

 

Time to take the next step

 

Go Ducks 

 

Thanks. Gotta move forward, not backwards.....

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On 12/14/2021 at 9:42 AM, Darren Perkins said:

 

Do we know the letter wasn't read by Mullens?

I see the confusion, I didn't mean if only had it been read by Mullens  to suggest he didn't read it, but that it would have been better if he had been the only one to read it.

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On 12/14/2021 at 9:14 AM, Santa Rosa Duck said:

Very thorough article Darren. Now I think I have a good understanding of what is going on. What is unfortunate is Mario leaving just before national signing day. Secondly our new coach is still coaching rather than trying to bring back the recruits full time. Oh well.......changes like this are never perfect. GO DUCKS!

 

From what i hear, Lanning is game planning for Georgia and this is it. The rest of his time is dedicated to Oregon,  which i'm sure is a lot of time recruting to the Ducks and not Georgia. I'm ok with it, give a guy a chance to win it all. And it could only add to the Oregon brand and recruiting if the head coach won a natty as a DC. 

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On 12/14/2021 at 9:37 AM, UtahDuck said:

I'm not sold that Wilcox was offered the job. As others have noted no evidence has been provided that have presented this to be the case. Clearly Canzano has had no issue not only releasing his evidence but he also has done so at the disdain of the people who created it. If he had evidence proving that wilcox was offered i have no doubt he would have provided it.(even if slightly redacted). 

 

Let's not forget on thursday the reports noted that Chip Kelly had been offered the job as well. On saturday(the week prior) their were reports that cristobal was staying. All in all I trust that Mullens made the right hire. This isn't to say other coaches couldn't have been offered i do believe there was a NFL offer floated that could have been turned down as well.

 

I could be wrong, but I would think if it didn't happen, then Mullens and/or Wilcox would have denied that it was offered and then turned down. To be honest, i find it completely believable that Mullens did offer him the job. I think the bring in an "Oregon Man" feeling had a lot of sway to it. 

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Low risk low reward

 

High risk high reward

 

Lets hope it's not high risk low reward. It's all so new right now that it's just speculation as to what will become if the Lanning hire.

Everything was all rainbows and unicorns when MC got hired. Talk is cheap. As much as I'm excited for the hire I've put my expectations on hold until next fall. 

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If Wilcox did turn down Oregon’s offer, then the expectations behind this job were not to his liking. I can understand that as a reason to turn down an offer. Getting pounded in the media if things go south is not my idea of a good career move. Money isn’t everything.
 

 Oregon needs a coach that knows the expectations and embraces them. Lanning wanted the job and the expectations that com with it. I am excited to see the coordinator positions filled, and ultimately the style of play on both sides of the ball. 
 

I fully support this hire and am optimistic that this is a big upgrade for the Ducks. 

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On 12/14/2021 at 10:07 AM, Darren Perkins said:

 

I could be wrong, but I would think if it didn't happen, then Mullens and/or Wilcox would have denied that it was offered and then turned down. To be honest, i find it completely believable that Mullens did offer him the job. I think the bring in an "Oregon Man" feeling had a lot of sway to it. 

 

I mean if you are wilcox, you don't deny it because maybe it propels you to a new contract with cal. As for Mullen's I think he is stuck in a hard spot if he denies it. one it's a conference foe and it may look bad no matter your response. As the AD you had a bunch of players and my understanding BoT that were pushing for a Wilcox hire.

 

As a final note, I've also seen notice that maybe he was offered but it was a deal that no coach would say yes too. Like limiting who can and can't be hired, certain benchmarks across the board, ect. At which point you are offering him just to get the board off your back.

 

All in all i do think there are enough "political" reasons as to why neither would deny the report. As a note, their are so many reports that Wilcox wants out of Berkeley that I can't imagine he would turn down any reasonable contract at this point.

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On 12/14/2021 at 12:52 PM, Darren Perkins said:

 

I give MC credit for proving that you can recruit BIG to Oregon, that's where he takes his place in history in Eugene. Without him doing so, that I think it is possible a guy like Lanning doesn't take the job because his advisors would be telling him, "lower recrutiing ceiling, you can't recruit there at a top-10 level."  

 

Recruiting champ and coaching chump!

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On 12/14/2021 at 10:52 AM, 30Duck said:

Darren, I agree that the Harrington Letter was misguided. But only because it was intercepted and published. Had it been seen only by Mullens, as intended, I believe he would have read and appreciated the feelings of concerned Ducks legends. 

 

What would Alabama do? I actually think they'll go where I didn't want Oregon to go. Back to a former player for their next coach. This player didn't have as solid a playing history at 'Bama as Justin Wilcox did at Oregon, but his coaching career has been spectacular.

 

I think that Dabo Swinney will return to his alma mater and replace Nick Saban. Clemson's good, but it isn't Alabama. 

 

Dabo makes $9M plus a year coaching in the ACC. Would he want the pressure of following Nick Saban and coaching in the SEC W? I don't see it.

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On 12/14/2021 at 10:23 AM, Jon Joseph said:

I don't see it.

 

 That makes sense. It could be that I'm seeing who Alabama wants. But, if Dabo has the coaching gene to take on a challenge, and it being his "Dream School"?

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On 12/14/2021 at 10:13 AM, GODUCKS15 said:

Low risk low reward

 

High risk high reward

 

Lets hope it's not high risk low reward. It's all so new right now that it's just speculation as to what will become if the Lanning hire.

Everything was all rainbows and unicorns when MC got hired. Talk is cheap. As much as I'm excited for the hire I've put my expectations on hold until next fall. 

GODUCKS 15

 

Could points. Risk is a gamble that usually has only 2 sides. Win or lose.

 

The journey that Lanning takes between now and the fall, is the tell that fills expectations.

 

So much to follow from early signing day, staff hires, especially OC and QB coach, portal transfer moves, late signing day and spring ball.

 

During that time we will begin to see Coach Lannings vision and plan.

 

Lots to look forward to, ponder, criticize or praise. This is fun.

 

The final stir of the drink is game day. Seeing how the plan is executed.

 

Because I am like coach, from the first moment I put on pads in the early sixties to this day......

 

I still get excited when I hear the word,  football. Hec I bet some of you, maybe many of you can still smell the grass.

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When Oregon fired Helfrich, they left "family" and entered the "must win a Natty" club.

Not being a blue blood program means we have to go with talented, less experienced leadership. Someone that is truly hungry for that success. 

 

I can't believe how excited I am about this hire! For me coach Lanning checks all the boxes.

It is clear he genuinely cares for his players. He wants teachers, not just coaches. He will develop players (qb's I hope). I can only believe he will continue recruiting success. 

 

Yes, someday he will leave Eugene, but in the meantime, it should be a fun ride!

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On 12/14/2021 at 9:44 AM, Darren Perkins said:

Yeah, that's the upside, if Lanning takes a job with an A+ program, then it means he really kicked some butt with the Ducks. I'll take it!

Darren, that was an A+++++ article.  So, where's your dream website?  And make a free site, otherwise adios!

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On 12/14/2021 at 10:13 AM, GODUCKS15 said:

Low risk low reward

 

High risk high reward

 

Lets hope it's not high risk low reward. It's all so new right now that it's just speculation as to what will become if the Lanning hire.

Everything was all rainbows and unicorns when MC got hired. Talk is cheap. As much as I'm excited for the hire I've put my expectations on hold until next fall. 

 

Yeah, always a risk, but i think many have hope with this one because MC has been seen as a below average game prep and X's and O'x coach. So, almost anyone would be an upgrade in this department. 

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On 12/14/2021 at 10:15 AM, UtahDuck said:

 

I mean if you are wilcox, you don't deny it because maybe it propels you to a new contract with cal. As for Mullen's I think he is stuck in a hard spot if he denies it. one it's a conference foe and it may look bad no matter your response. As the AD you had a bunch of players and my understanding BoT that were pushing for a Wilcox hire.

 

As a final note, I've also seen notice that maybe he was offered but it was a deal that no coach would say yes too. Like limiting who can and can't be hired, certain benchmarks across the board, ect. At which point you are offering him just to get the board off your back.

 

All in all i do think there are enough "political" reasons as to why neither would deny the report. As a note, their are so many reports that Wilcox wants out of Berkeley that I can't imagine he would turn down any reasonable contract at this point.

 

Good, the leverage, drama and politics aspect of it. College athletic departmens make for a good premise for a new show on HBO or Netflix. 

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On 12/14/2021 at 10:39 AM, DanLduck said:

When Oregon fired Helfrich, they left "family" and entered the "must win a Natty" club.

Not being a blue blood program means we have to go with talented, less experienced leadership. Someone that is truly hungry for that success. 

 

I can't believe how excited I am about this hire! For me coach Lanning checks all the boxes.

It is clear he genuinely cares for his players. He wants teachers, not just coaches. He will develop players (qb's I hope). I can only believe he will continue recruiting success. 

 

Yes, someday he will leave Eugene, but in the meantime, it should be a fun ride!

 

Exciting times for sure. Definetly seemed like the candidate with the best recruiting chops. 

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On 12/14/2021 at 11:13 AM, Steven A said:

Darren, that was an A+++++ article.  So, where's your dream website?  And make a free site, otherwise adios!

 

Haha, thanks!. Unfortunatley free websites are getting less and less. 

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On 12/14/2021 at 12:39 PM, Darren Perkins said:

 

Good, the leverage, drama and politics aspect of it. College athletic departmens make for a good premise for a new show on HBO or Netflix. 

I'm not going to lie, the coaching carousel has been compared to the bachelor/bachelorette this year and I would definitely argue that it is a warranted description.  add in some tarmaced, some joey freshwater, a OC's girlfriends therapy monkey attacking trick or treaters, and I can't imagine why HBO hasn't already made it.

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Guest Axel

The hiring of Dan Lanning is a huge step in the right direction. I had favored bringing Chip Kelly back, but Lanning is clearly the better man for the job. Unlike Kelly, he is passionate about recruiting, he is a defensive whiz, and he has no negative issues with Oregon donors and boosters. Wilcox would have been a poor choice; we need to rid ourselves of this provincial "need to be in the Duck family" mentality. 

 

Kelly had a great run, but the past is past, and this probably ends any pipe dreams about a Chip II era. One thing that Duck fans need to remember is that Kelly highly recommended Mark Helfrich as his replacement. That was bad advice, needless to say. In hindsight, we should have searched for a much better replacement outside of the program. 

 

I like Lanning's energy and his enthusiasm, and it is good that many Pac-12 competitors are dismayed that he is now leading our Ducks.

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On 12/14/2021 at 11:43 AM, Darren Perkins said:

 

Haha, thanks!. Unfortunatley free websites are getting less and less. 

Darren, let me add my kudos to your article. I was nodding my head the entire time I was reading it. I look forward to your future dispatches.

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I love all the former players and what they did for us, but we hired a local guy that would stay forever after kelly left

and we all know how that turned out. It also shows us that a really good head coordinator,  doesn't  necessary  mean  they

will be a good coach. Lets hope the latter in this case isnt true.   All the best recruits in the states  wont help if you can't coach.

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On 12/14/2021 at 12:01 PM, Axel said:

 

 

Kelly had a great run, but the past is past, and this probably ends any pipe dreams about a Chip II era. One thing that Duck fans need to remember is that Kelly highly recommended Mark Helfrich as his replacement. That was bad advice, needless to say. In hindsight, we should have searched for a much better replacement outside of the program. 

 

  At the time, Helfrich seemed like the logical choice.  The program seemed on auto pilot, he ran the offense well, was liked by the players and fans, and had a great group of assistant coaches.    Hindsite is easy, but there just wasn't a way to determine he would be a poor leader.  Not every hire works out, yet after his first year things looked pretty good.  His ultimate weak leadership and poor recruiting were his undoing.

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