Earlier this week, Auburn introduced new offensive coordinator, Kenny Dillingham (previously serving as the offensive coordinator at Memphis). Many do not know of him as last year was his first season serving as an OC in the FBS ranks. At only 28, Dillingham has quickly risen up the ranks. Before this season, he served as the quarterbacks coach and was a first-year graduate assistant the year prior. What does the addition of his services mean for the Auburn Tigers? Let’s take a look.
Kenny Dillingham, an energetic and young coach, brings energy and passion to the practice field. There are videos of him running up and down behind his players, coaching them up and praising them for their effort. Not only is he a strong motivator, but he is a solid coach as well. During his time at Memphis, he has helped work and develop multiple quarterbacks that have gone on to have excellent seasons within their conference. His first quarterback protégé was Paxton Lynch, a former first round draft pick. His most recent quarterback that he has helped develop was junior college transfer Riley Ferguson. Ferguson has been a first team all-conference selection and holds multiple records for the school. With Auburn losing their starting quarterback to the NFL Draft this season, and little to no experience behind him, Dillingham inherits a group of quarterbacks that he can develop into his own. Although they will have learned quite a bit under the development of Chip Kelly, Bo Nix will be an incoming freshman that Dillingham will be able to completely mold into his own. Nix is also one that fits the young offensive coordinator’s style. His previous quarterbacks are guys that have had big arms and can do enough running to get out of bad situations, just like Nix.
Dillingham’s energy and youth will translate well to the recruiting trail as well. Many of Auburn’s recruiting targets typically gravitate towards young linebackers coach and wide receivers coaches Travis Williams and Kodi Burns. These two coaches have both coached and played at Auburn and are able to relate to the young recruits. While Dillingham did not play for Auburn, he has the energy and excitement that will rally the troops. Gus Malzahn has the potential to bring in the greatest recruiting class that he has had since he has been the head coach, but with the talks about him possibly being fired at the end of the season, everything began to slow down. Now that the talk has settled, and it has been confirmed that he will be the coach, he and Dillingham can continue to bring excitement to the Plains.
Last but not least, the new coordinator will not be in charge of calling the plays; Malzahn will. If everything goes left once again with the offensive play calling, the blame will not be thrown on the young man’s shoulders. Dillingham will help prepare the offense and develop the quarterbacks throughout the week and will be in the booth watching from above during gameday. In one of Malzahn’s biggest seasons, he has turned to himself to make things right. Will Dillingham have enough input to help turn things around? Only time will tell.