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ASU's Dillingham tells CFB coaches complaining about NIL, portal to 'quit'

Bruce Yeung / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Arizona State head coach Kenny Dillingham has a message for coaches who are complaining about the current state of college football.

"You know how many people want my job? You know how many people want my assistant coaches' jobs? And my analysts' jobs?" Dillingham recently said in an interview on Bickley & Marotta Mornings on Arizona Sports. "So don't complain about what we do. You're blessed. There's a lot of negativity about it, yes. But do you know how many people want to be a college football coach?

"I literally spent nine years of my life doing anything to become a coffee boy. So, don't give me the 'Oh, it's hard to be a coach right now.' Yeah, it's hard. Then quit."

New transfer portal rules and the NIL era have had a big impact on college football's landscape, and several Power 5 head coaches have criticized the current state of the sport. Most recently, Jeff Hafley left his head coaching job at Boston College to become the Green Bay Packers' defensive coordinator.

"He wants to go coach football again in a league that is all about football," a source told ESPN about Hafley's decision to go to the NFL in January. "College coaching has become fundraising, NIL, and recruiting your own team and transfers."

Dillingham acknowledged that college football has changed significantly, but the 33-year-old doesn't want to use that as an excuse.

"You adapt, you adjust," he said. "Is it hard? Yes, but if you love it, you're going to do it. Does it pull away from other things? Yes. Find a way to have life balance."

Arizona State had a slow start to the NIL era. However, the Sun Devils have been increasing their NIL funding from boosters, and they received more support after athletic director Ray Anderson stepped down in November.

"We're not even close to where it was 15 months ago," Dillingham said. "It's not even the same organization from the standpoint of NIL and the support that we've received."

Dillingham served as offensive coordinator at multiple schools before taking the Arizona State head coaching job to replace Herm Edwards at the end of the 2022 season. The Sun Devils went 3-9 in his first year in charge.

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