On3 Roundtable: How the departure of Kenny Dillingham will impact Bo Nix

On3 imageby:Peter Warren06/27/23


When Kenny Dillingham left Oregon after helping Bo Nix to a career year to take the head coaching job at Arizona State, Ducks head coach Dan Lanning had a decision to make. The Oregon offense built a ton of momentum during the 2022 season, and Lanning did not want to lose it.

He needed to make the right hire to replace Dillingham. Lanning decided to go with Will Stein, the 33-year-old up-and-coming coordinator who spent the past three years coaching at UTSA.

ScoopDuck’s Justin Hopkins told JD PicKell on On3 Roundtable how important Nix, who is tabbed as a potential Heisman contender for this upcoming season, was in making the decision on who would replace Dillingham.

“I think that was a huge part in Dan Lanning’s hiring process when he had to go look for a new OC with Kenny Dillingham getting the ASU job,” Hopkins said. “I’m not sure that you could say Will Stein obviously didn’t have the longest resume, but I think he just meshed really well with Bo Nix, the existing offense, some of the same terminology, obviously, not all of it, but I think kind of that continuity was a really big key for them in going after Will Stein.”

Stein started his coaching career at Louisville, his alma mater, in 2013 as a graduate assistant. He then spent as a year as a quality control coach before moving to Texas.

After three years with the Longhorns, he stayed in the greater Austin area as the offensive coordinator at Austin (Texas) Lake Travis for two seasons.

The Roadrunners hired him after the 2019 season as their passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach. He was promoted to co-offensive coordinator this past season and UTSA went 11–3 on the season, including an 8-0 record in Conference USA play and a conference championship.

The offense averaged 476.0 yards and 36.8 points per game. Six different players had over 600 yards from scrimmage.

“You look at what he did at UTSA, and they put up some record numbers,” Hopkins said. “Oregon has shown that it can have a really strong running game. A great complement and I think that, although the timing was a little bit off, I think the wrong hire might have possibly impacted Bo Nix a little bit. So if you got Bo Nix to sign off on it, I think that a big selling point for Dan Lanning.”