Arizona State officially named Dillingham as head coach Sunday but said the hire is pending approval by the Arizona board of regents.
Dillingham is a 2012 graduate of Arizona State and a native of Arizona. He's a former high school coach in the state and started his college career at Arizona State as an offensive assistant in 2014.
"We are proud to announce Kenny Dillingham as our new head football coach. He brings the energy, knowledge and appreciation of our state and university that is valued by all of us," athletic director Ray Anderson said in a statement released by the school. "His knowledge of the current college football landscape, learned by coaching across the nation, is needed and wanted at ASU. He will care at the highest level about our state, our alumni, our former players and every single group that is important to help us win. We look forward to working with him and all Sun Devils in making his staff successful and helping our program reach our goals."
Dillingham, 32, will become the youngest coach in the Power 5. He replaces Herm Edwards, who was fired in September after a loss to Eastern Michigan. The Sun Devils went 3-9 after massive losses in the transfer portal and are in the throes of a major NCAA investigation.
"It is an honor and a privilege to be named the head coach at Arizona State University," Dillingham said in a statement. "This is a special place to myself and my wife who is also a graduate. I truly believe the team we will build here is one that the state of Arizona and all Sun Devils can rally behind and be proud of as it will take everyone in the valley to help this program achieve the level of success it is due. I am excited to get to work and promise no one will work harder than the staff we will put together."
Dillingham has worked as the offensive coordinator at Memphis, Auburn and Florida State, working for Mike Norvell and Gus Malzahn. He's done his best work this year under the Ducks' first-year coach Dan Lanning, who came from the defensive side of the ball.
The Ducks have a top-5 scoring offense, and Dillingham has helped rejuvenate the career of quarterback Bo Nix, who has been one of the best players in college football after an uneven career at Auburn.
Dillingham will take over one of the most challenging jobs in college football. Arizona State's uncertain leadership, pending NCAA investigation and gutted roster make his task one of the tallest in college football.
Few rosters have been impacted more negatively by the transfer portal than ASU, and that talent drain showed as ASU lost four consecutive games to end the season. The looming notice of allegations from the NCAA has cast a shroud over the program.
ASU bottomed out this year with a 38-35 loss to Arizona, which ended a five-game losing streak against Arizona State.
Part of the attraction to ASU officials was Dillingham's local ties, as the state of Arizona has begun to produce top talent.