A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press that the 32-year-old Phoenix native was on the verge of becoming the head coach at the school he graduated from just 10 years ago.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because contract details still need to be worked out.
Sports Illustrated was first to report Arizona State was targeting Dillingham.
Arizona State fired Herman Edwards in September after a 1-2 start. The football program is also facing an NCAA investigation for alleged violations of recruiting rules committed under Edwards.
Dillingham began his coaching career at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, before being hired as an offensive analysis by then-Arizona State coach Todd Graham in 2014.
Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson took a calculated gamble in 2018 with the hiring of Edwards, a former NFL coach and TV analyst.
The loquacious coach won over Arizona State’s fan base his first couple of seasons, proving to be an adept recruiter while leading the Sun Devils to consecutive bowl appearances.
Arizona State couldn’t sustain the success on the field and the program fell into the NCAA’s crosshairs for hosting recruits on campus during an NCAA-mandated COVID-19 dead period in 2020.
Edwards was fired a day after the Sun Devils lost to Eastern Michigan of the Mid-American Conference as heavy home favorites. He went 46-26 in five seasons at Arizona State, including 17-14 in the Pac-12.
Running backs coach Shaun Aguano served as interim coach and went 2-7 to close out the season, including a loss to rival Arizona in the finale.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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