Monte Kiffin resigning after USC's dismal defensive showing

Tennessee defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin talks to players during a timeout on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009 at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin talks to players during a timeout on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009 at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky.

LOS ANGELES - Southern California assistant head coach Monte Kiffin will resign from his son's coaching staff after a miserable season for the Trojans' defense.

Monte Kiffin announced in a news release Thursday night that he will leave USC after the Trojans' bowl game next month to pursue a return to the NFL.

"I wanted to make this announcement now so that our players who are preparing for the bowl game and our recruits who will be visiting campus are aware," Monte Kiffin said in a statement. "The chance to work for my son, Lane, was unique and memorable, but we always treated each other professionally on a coach-to-coach basis. Although things didn't always go as well as we would have liked this year from a defensive and win-loss standpoint ... I see great things ahead for the USC football program."

The 72-year-old Monte Kiffin is considered one of the most influential defensive coaches in recent football history, most notably constructing the famed Tampa 2 defense during his tenure as the Buccaneers' defensive coordinator.

After 13 years at Tampa Bay, Monte Kiffin teamed up with his son at the University of Tennessee during the 2009 season, and then went along when Lane Kiffin abruptly left the Volunteers to return to USC three years ago.

But Monte Kiffin received withering criticism for USC's defensive performance this season. USC yielded 178 points while losing four of its final five games this season, plummeting out of the Top 25 after beginning the year at No. 1.

"I respect my father's decision and his desire to return to the NFL," Lane Kiffin said. "We are very appreciative of the hard work and effort that he put in at USC these past three years. He has a tremendous passion for coaching young men, and he is a phenomenal recruiter. The timing of this allows us to move forward now in the hiring of a new coach."

Monte Kiffin's cautious defensive principles sometimes didn't appear to work well against the spread formations and high-volume offensive schemes so common in modern college football. Monte Kiffin favors a bend-but-don't-break philosophy that includes minimal blitzing and extensive protection against deep passes and big plays.

In a loss to Oregon on Nov. 3, USC had the worst defensive game in the history of a school that began playing football in the 19th century, giving up a school record-worst 62 points, 730 yards and nine touchdowns. A week earlier, USC yielded 613 yards in a 39-36 loss to Arizona.

UCLA then embarrassed its crosstown rivals with 513 yards of offense during a 38-28 victory on Nov. 17 - including Johnathan Franklin's 171 yards rushing, the Bruins' most in the rivalry game in a quarter-century.

Lane Kiffin stood behind his father's work this season, but always in the context of the entire coaching staff's responsibility for the Trojans' poor season. Although Ed Orgeron holds the title of defensive coordinator at USC, Monte Kiffin ran the unit and devised its schemes while Orgeron focused on the defensive line and his work as the Trojans' recruiting coordinator.

The Trojans haven't yet learned their destination for their first bowl game since 2009, following a two-year postseason ban under NCAA sanctions.

Monte Kiffin has 47 years of coaching experience, including three years at North Carolina State's head coach in the early 1980s. The Nebraska native and former Cornhuskers lineman won a Super Bowl ring with Tampa Bay in 2002.

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Comments » 55

punkin writes:

Here's how it really went down. Weasel went crying to his daddy about how bad the season was and Daddy told him he would quit to take the heat off.

SummittsCourt writes:

Talk about throwing yourself on the sword.

One weasel down, next up... weasel boy himself!

SavTnVol writes:

I think Ole Combover should stay at the condom school. That's the best place for him and the "Can't Talk Cajun", right beside the slimeball. Never cared for Al Davis, but gotta admit he hit the nail on the head about the woos.

tennesseetyler writes:

I doubt kiffen went crying to his daddy. He probably axed his own dad to save his arse.. He is a snake if there ever was one..

gillblog writes:

Wonder how everybody is going to feel if Gruden gets hired and wants to put MK on his staff????

VOLinATL writes:

Don't let the door hit you on the way out...

dvhill100 writes:

in response to gillblog:

Wonder how everybody is going to feel if Gruden gets hired and wants to put MK on his staff????

Anyone will be an upgrade on defense.

brod writes:

monte, have you ever heard of retirement?

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to punkin:

Here's how it really went down. Weasel went crying to his daddy about how bad the season was and Daddy told him he would quit to take the heat off.

That sounds about right, then he told Pat Haden that he never liked that guy anyway.

Colts_VolFan writes:

I wonder who he will blame next year?

CantStandCantStandSaban writes:

Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation.

"Uh dad, yeah...I'm thinking you're fired. Still planning on coming over to the house for Christmas though, right?"

CrankE writes:

Hire Sunseri!!!

volgrog#210164 writes:

Fired the wrong Kiffin.

auggievol writes:

Thinking that Monte was one of the assistants Gruden was in contact with when earlier reports said Chuckie was contacting assistants geared toward the college game. Just sayin'

fearthehound writes:

in response to CrankE:

Hire Sunseri!!!

Hee hee. Hey Lane, what you really need to do is install the 3-4 defense. That's what really works in college football. We have a great defensive coordinator we'd like to send you. Yeah, that's the ticket.

VolzsFan writes:

Most of you where on here several years ago telling us how much Monte was an upgrade over the great Chief and how he would make us forget the Hall of Famer, blah blah blah. Now we want to attack attack attack!!!!!

I told everyone that Lane will be the only guy in history with a NFL Head Job, SEC Head Job and a Pac 10 Head Job before he was 40 and never be a head coach again.

I was right, as usual.

BlueHarley writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

Most of you where on here several years ago telling us how much Monte was an upgrade over the great Chief and how he would make us forget the Hall of Famer, blah blah blah. Now we want to attack attack attack!!!!!

I told everyone that Lane will be the only guy in history with a NFL Head Job, SEC Head Job and a Pac 10 Head Job before he was 40 and never be a head coach again.

I was right, as usual.

We're so lucky to have you ....... thanks.

CrankE writes:

Just thought of another angle here.

Perhaps the effect of the NCAA sanctions is starting to be felt. If that's so, then it's going to get worse, not better for USC-almost without regard to who they hire and daddy is leaving at the right time leaving baby K holding the bag for the future.

Vol86 writes:

in response to CrankE:

Just thought of another angle here.

Perhaps the effect of the NCAA sanctions is starting to be felt. If that's so, then it's going to get worse, not better for USC-almost without regard to who they hire and daddy is leaving at the right time leaving baby K holding the bag for the future.

IDK look at their recruiting class.

madrigal writes:

He needs to take himself and his weasel son and ride off into the sunset, never to be seen again.

BigOrangeRock writes:

Well, that and he is 75 years old. Not to diss the 70's, just saying he could probably use a shorter work-week.

VOLNCAL writes:

Hum? More like Gruden takes the Philly job and Monte rejoins his fellow coach from Tampa.

RealisticVol writes:

I said when Kiffy came to the Vols that not retaining Chief was a big mistake. Big Kiffy couldn't hold Chief's briefcase.

UTKin1992 writes:

This had nothing to do with his job performance.

Monte was significantly over budget with his monthly allowance for Metamucil and Depends.

SummittsCourt writes:

I see this "resignation" as a sign that Gruden is going to be coaching in the NFL next season and wants Senior weasel as his D-Coordinator.

Who's next on the list as head coach for UT?

Gomersezhey writes:

in response to CrankE:

Hire Sunseri!!!

LOL. I was thinking the same thing.

takespix writes:

Hmmm..waiting on that sympathy emotion....

rocky_topper writes:

My god, is he still alive?

takespix writes:

...STILL waiting on that sympathy

CoverOrange writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

Most of you where on here several years ago telling us how much Monte was an upgrade over the great Chief and how he would make us forget the Hall of Famer, blah blah blah. Now we want to attack attack attack!!!!!

I told everyone that Lane will be the only guy in history with a NFL Head Job, SEC Head Job and a Pac 10 Head Job before he was 40 and never be a head coach again.

I was right, as usual.

Three possibilities:
1. Lane gets fired tomorrow joining Dooley in the unemployment line, thus you are right.
2. Lane lasts another 30 years at USC, thus you are right.
3. Lane leaves for his dream job at North Dakota State Tech, thus you are wrong.

Llike a broad side of a barn, hard to miss on that prediction.

calvolfromkingsport writes:

Good! Still bet that house in Manhattan Beach is paid for by 'SC boosters.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

to the "give him how ever much it takes to get Gruden" crowd, Monty is a perfect example you dont always get what you pay for---no guarantees. Overpaying for anyone or anything dont make it/them better.

6972 writes:

I am really all broke up about USC's season. I may never get over the emotional trauma I am feeling right now. It hurts so bad..........

Deston writes:

in response to tennesseetyler:

I doubt kiffen went crying to his daddy. He probably axed his own dad to save his arse.. He is a snake if there ever was one..

I thought the same. Low down! But, it s expected from him.

spvol writes:

Couldn't stop the run in the NFL; couldn't stop it in college.

trl_x writes:

Never was a fan of his scheme. Chavis was a much better DC IMO.

SevenT writes:

Does anyone know if USC students are burning mattresses or rioting on campus?

Just Asking

TNVOLNTX writes:

in response to SevenT:

Does anyone know if USC students are burning mattresses or rioting on campus?

Just Asking

Isn't that typically what's happening in L.A. regardless of current events?

Colliervol writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Probably correct. The scholarship reductions hurt their defensive depth this year and it will get worse all over the team the next two years. I doubt Lame will survive that.

And allowing one's father to fall on his sword to save one's miserable hide confirms that one is a low rent, pond scum, lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut, toilet-circling sleazeball. As if any of us had any doubt about Lame.

Colliervol writes:

I would never be surprised if Monte was arrested for beating his wife for having that twerp. Maybe he was adopted.

TNVOLNTX writes:

in response to Colliervol:

I would never be surprised if Monte was arrested for beating his wife for having that twerp. Maybe he was adopted.

LMAO...on the way out the door, what do you want to bet Monte turned around and said to Lane, "boy when I get home, I'm gonna punch your Momma in the mounth, you moose twit...there's no way yous from my loins..."

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to punkin:

Here's how it really went down. Weasel went crying to his daddy about how bad the season was and Daddy told him he would quit to take the heat off.

+1

florida-volfan writes:

Monte Kiffin is a good DC....I just dont think his scheme of things works well in the college ranks with all these spread run offenses, especially out west. Maybe the scholarship reductions are hurting there depth as well.

thevoice writes:

Wonder how the holidays will be at the Kiffin house. Nah, I really don't care.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to florida-volfan:

Monte Kiffin is a good DC....I just dont think his scheme of things works well in the college ranks with all these spread run offenses, especially out west. Maybe the scholarship reductions are hurting there depth as well.

No doubt, the Tampa 2 defense leaves too many running lanes for spread options to exploit. Also, with Oregon and other Pac-12 schools making USC look so bad in recent games, a change had to be made.

wishwehadabettercoach writes:

Monte was a great coach with an A Hole son.

edee writes:

One report I heard said DADDY resigned to save little baby Kiffie

Volunatic writes:

I've been saying he is the weak link on that staff ever since Dexter McCluster ran for about 5000 yards against Tennessee.
A competent DC would have said to Eric Berry, "Hey, stick to that McCluster guy like glue. Let's put a stop to this nonsense."

farmdog (Inactive) writes:

Chester the Molester is going back to the pros. Shoulda had a premonition from when Dexter McCluster and the Rebs tore him (and us) a new rectum. The Kiffins were already getting Sabanitis at that point too.

farmdog (Inactive) writes:

Sounds like this may be a critical juncture in the Kiffin tenure. Obviously, the thing to do would be to implement the three-year changeover to a 3-4 defense, and Sunseri will be available shortly.

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