The Auburn Tigers got their man, so to speak, when they hired former Memphis Tigers offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham to the same position after Chip Lindsey left the program to join Les Miles at Kansas.
Dillingham, along with pass game coordinator and former Auburn wide receiver Kodi Burns, will be running the show down on the Plains, or at least that’s the lip service head coach Gus Malzahn is giving the media.
“Kenny is one of the rising stars in our profession, coaching two top-10 nationally ranked offenses the last two years,” Malzahn said in a statement. “Because of Kenny’s energy, intelligence and genuine care for his players, he’s been highly successful coaching quarterbacks and is an outstanding recruiter, while working closely with Mike Norvell in developing one of the nation’s top offenses.”
Under Dillingham, Memphis finished third in the country in total offense — ahead of both Alabama and Clemson — averaging almost 44 points and 534 yards per game.
On the surface, this looks like a home-run hire on Malzahn’s part, but is it? The big question, as it normally is with Gus Malzahn, is will he let his coordinators do their job?
According to the press release announcing the hiring of Dillingham, Malzahn will still be calling the plays for the Auburn offensive, So basically nothing has changed other than Dillingham being named a figurehead for the Auburn offense along with Kodi Burns.
In any other program, Dillingham would be a welcomed addition to the staff with his knowledge of the game, but how excited can you be as an Auburn fan knowing that the head coach, who has had problems with play-calling in the past, still basically runs your offense?
That’s like being Chief of Staff at the White House and President Donald Trump is your boss. It’s a nice title to have, but what if you have to take a back seat to everything? This is Malzahn’s third offensive coordinator in the last few years and the reasons the others left for greener pastures is simply because Malzahn won’t allow them to do their jobs.
If you are Gus Malzahn and your job was on the line, wouldn’t you, for once, put your ego aside and let someone else guide your offense? Time will tell if Malzahn will do the smart thing.