Word on the street is that current Auburn offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham is making a move back to a familiar boss. He’ll be the new Florida State offensive coordinator with his old head coach Mike Norvell. Norvell was announced as the new Seminole head coach over the weekend after Memphis won the AAC Championship over Cincinnati.
Dillingham’s duties as offensive coordinator were magnified with the public knowledge that he wouldn’t be calling plays after Gus Malzahn took those responsibilities over before this season. Either way, Dillingham brought in some concepts that Memphis employed last year as Auburn broke in Bo Nix at starting quarterback. Next season, Auburn will return Nix and the vast majority of the other skill position players, but will need to retool the offensive line.
Assuming Dillingham doesn’t stick around for the bowl game, Auburn will have a similar situation to last year when Gus called plays in the blowout over Purdue. The Tigers take on Minnesota in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Immediately we’ve heard a few quick names emerge as candidates, but whether they’re true candidates or just the first thought remains to be seen. Among those names you hear:
- Chad Morris
The former Arkansas coach was the offensive coordinator for Dabo at Clemson while the Tigers ramped up. His offense is still essentially run there, but under different leadership. While he wasn’t great as a head coach, he was a fantastic offensive coordinator. However, Gus will most likely retain the play-calling duties, so we’ll have to see how Morris would deal with that dynamic.
- Patrick Nix
How about another former Auburn quarterback who has P5 experience as an offensive coordinator and who currently runs a version of the Malzahn offense? Not to mention that he coached our current starting quarterback for years in high school.
- Kodi Burns
This would be the ultimate continuity move. Let Kodi continue to work with the offense, only his duties expand to include more game planning and input as to what we’ll be doing on offense each week. Gus has shown that he loves his guys, and Kodi is definitely one of his guys. Kodi is already the current co-OC, so this would just be a move to remove a couple of letters and a dash from his title.
- Bobby Bentley
Former Auburn staffer, current South Carolina running backs coach (but not for long). His son, Jake Bentley, was the Gamecocks’ starting quarterback for the past couple of years, but he’s going to grad transfer away from Columbia. Bentley worked with Auburn under Gus back in 2014 before heading to South Carolina, and he’s obviously familiar with what Gus likes to do. With no play-calling experience, it likely wouldn’t be an issue if he worked with Gus in that regard.
The list of potentials is likely pretty small, but who would you like to have as the offensive coordinator?