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Dan Lanning shares how his "why" changed after wife's cancer diagnosis

Dan Lanning's coaching career started with the same aspirations so many have in the profession, but shares how his wife's cancer diagnosis while he was at Memphis changed his entire perspective.

What's your why?

It's a simple question that can elicit a complicated response from a lot of coaches.

First year Oregon head coach Dan Lanning was asked that question at Oregon's media day presser yesterday, and he shared how a cancer diagnosis a few years ago for his wife changed his perspective on his "why."

Lanning opened up his response by sharing he has a really long answer he was going to try to shorten and that his coaching career started with the same types of dream that many coaches have starting off.

"Early in my career, I always wanted to coach at the highest level of football. I feel really blessed and fortunate to be here, but I really just love the game."

"I love football to another level, and my 'why' really shifted back when I got to Memphis. Everything up to that point was really about advancing my career, moving up and looking for the next opportunity to go coach the best of the best. 

"Once I got to Memphis, my wife was diagnosed with cancer, and it really reshaped my entire why."

"Now, I want to be a guy that helps people. We are not here just to have championship football players, we are here to create championship fathers, championship husbands."

"How do you do that? You model it every day. I want our guys to be able to look at our coaches and say, 'Wow, that's a real man.' And I want them to know what it means to be a real man."

"Within that, we're going to have fun on the football field. I'm a guy that loves to go to practice. If we could practice year-round, I know some of our players may not enjoy it, but I would love it. I love being out on the grass and there's not a part of my job that is more fun than coaching football and being out there on the field.

Thankfully, this year will mark five years cancer free for Sauphia Lanning, who initially went to the doctor after experiencing persistent pain in her knee and later learned of the cancer diagnosis after having some tests done.

Hear more from Lanning in the clip.