UGA Football

Kirby Smart thought highly enough of Dan Lanning that he didn't need to interview him for open job

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. The Telegraph

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart knew exactly who he wanted for his program's open outside linebackers coaching position.

When Kevin Sherrer, Georgia's former outside linebackers coach, took a job as Tennessee's defensive coordinator, Smart zeroed in on Memphis assistant Dan Lanning and considered him a "no-brainer" of a hire. Smart even hired Lanning without interviewing him.

Lanning accepted and is now on the job with the 2017 season in the books.

"I just know what kind of coach he is, and I knew that from being with him," Smart said during an appearance on 680 The Fan's "The Official Visit."

"I was 100 percent confident in who I wanted to hire. I didn't have to interview him. He has a lot of energy on the field."

Lanning has previous experience working with Smart. In 2015, Lanning was a graduate assistant at Alabama when Smart coached his final season there as a defensive coordinator. But up to that point, Lanning had already put together a solid resume, Smart noted.

Lanning's coaching career began in 2011 when he was a graduate assistant on defense with Pittsburgh. In 2012, he took a job with Arizona State as a graduate assistant before moving into an on-campus recruiting coordinator and defensive assistant's role in 2013. In 2014, Lanning took a job at Sam Houston State as the program's defensive backs coach and was also the co-recruiting coordinator.

"I got to watch him work and be around me when I was at the University of Alabama, and he had a really good resume coming into Alabama," Smart said. "He had been a full-time coach at several different places. He worked with outside backers, inside backers, safeties. He'd done special teams."

Given his track record as an assistant, Smart said he is ready to see what Lanning is able to do with the group of outside linebackers he will now be coaching.

"I'm really excited to see what he's going to do with a really talented D'Andre Walker and some freshmen at outside backer," Smart said.

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