Oregon alum Geoff Schwartz approves school hiring Dan Lanning as next head coach

Dan Lanning
Photo credit Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

Oregon didn't even need an entire week to conduct and finish their search for a new head football coach. The school officially announced on Saturday night that Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, who's just 35, will take over the Pac-12 program and succeed Mario Cristobal in Eugene.

Although the decision might be considered a gamble -- Lanning will become the youngest Power Five head coach in the nation -- former Ducks offensive lineman and current SiriusXM NFL analyst Geoff Schwartz approves the hiring. Lanning's youth and inexperience aren't turnoffs.

"This whole argument, 'He's never been a head coach before.' Well, yeah, you've got to start somewhere," Schwartz told The DA Show on Monday. "Everyone starts out not being a head coach. What do you want? I'll take young, innovative, high-energy, passionate over a retread, old coach just because he's a coach. I'll take this any time...

Podcast Episode
The DA Show Interviews
Geoff Schwartz on the Week in The NFL and Oregon's New Coach
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

"Every path is different. You have to identify whether or not the coach has the traits needed to win football games in 2022 and moving forward. And I think Lanning has that. Obviously, his coordinator hires will be important... Lanning, by the way, was a finalist for the Oklahoma job. It wasn't just like they decided out of nowhere to hire this coach."

Georgia, which finished the regular season 12-1 and earned the third spot in the College Football Playoff, has played exceptionally strong defense under Lanning's stewardship. The unit leads the country in average points allowed (9.5) and yards per play (4.0), and also ranks second in average yards (253.9) and fifth in sacks (41). Before joining the Bulldogs' staff, Lanning spent two seasons with Memphis and one year as a graduate assistant for Alabama.

Oregon is crossing its fingers that Lanning's bright defensive mind and knack for recruiting can boost the school's status as a perennial Pac-12 contender. The Ducks haven't appeared in the CFP since its inaugural season, and back on Dec. 3, the team lost in blowout fashion to Utah in the Pac-12 title game.

The entire football conversation between Schwartz and DA can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow The DA Show on Twitter @DAonCBS and @CBSSportsRadio, and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Brett Davis / Stringer / Getty Images