Lane Kiffin to join Alabama as offensive coordinator

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press
Southern California head coach Lane Kiffin in the third quarter during an NCAA college football game against Arizona State on Saturday, Sept. 28 2013, in Tempe, Ariz.

Photo by Rick Scuteri

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press Southern California head coach Lane Kiffin in the third quarter during an NCAA college football game against Arizona State on Saturday, Sept. 28 2013, in Tempe, Ariz.

Nearly four years to the day after he stunned Tennessee by leaving after just one season as head coach, Lane Kiffin is back in the SEC.

Kiffin, 38, was hired as the new offensive coordinator at Alabama on Friday. He replaces Doug Nussmeier, who left for Michigan earlier this week.

The job with one of Tennessee’s top rivals adds another unusual chapter to Kiffin’s coaching ledger and adds some spark to the Vols’ meeting with Alabama on Oct. 25 at Neyland Stadium.

Kiffin became the youngest head coach in NFL history when he was hired by the Oakland Raiders in 2007, but his two-year tenure was filled with acrimony and clashes with ownership.

Shortly after the 2008 season ended, Kiffin was hired to replace Phillip Fulmer. The Vols went 7-6 in his only year at the helm.

On Jan. 12, 2010, he confirmed that he was leaving to be head coach at Southern California, where he had earlier spent six years as an assistant.

But Kiffin’s “dream job” with the Trojans, who were beset by NCAA sanctions, did not go smoothly. He was fired just five games into the 2013 season, ending his brief tenure with a 28-15 record.

Kiffin reportedly spent several days earlier last month meeting with Alabama coach Nick Saban to trade ideas, suggesting Nussmeier’s departure may have been imminent even then. Once Nussmeier had formally taken the Michigan job, it took only 48 hours for Kiffin to replace him.

“He is an outstanding and creative offensive coach who has great experience both at the college and NFL level,” Saban said in a statement. “He has a very good understanding of the game and I have always been impressed with what I saw in the games he called. He coaches with a great deal of passion and enthusiasm, and also does an excellent job as a teacher.”

Alabama, then undefeated and No. 2 in the nation, edged Tennessee 12-10 on Oct. 24, 2009, Kiffin’s only meeting against Saban in the SEC.

Kiffin’s replacement, Derek Dooley, who had been a longtime Saban assistant, did not fare as well against his former boss. He was fired after three seasons at Tennessee and replaced by Butch Jones.

Now Jones and the Vols have a much-anticipated meeting with Saban and Kiffin coming up in October.

“We want to thank the University of Alabama and Coach Saban for this tremendous opportunity, and we feel humbled and honored to be a part of the Crimson Tide family,” Kiffin said in a statement. “I’ve always had the utmost respect for what Coach Saban has done with his programs ... We’ve seen the passion and support of the Alabama fans firsthand, and when that’s combined with the storied history and tradition of the program, this is a very special place to coach.”

Kiffin was part of two national championships as a USC assistant under Pete Carroll. He ran the offense from 2005-06 and was passing game coordinator the previous year, when quarterback Matt Leinart won the Heisman Trophy. The Trojans averaged 49.1 points and 579.8 total yards per game when Kiffin was offensive coordinator.

Alabama did not immediately release terms of Kiffin’s contract.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

© 2014 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 62

KevDVol writes:

"Let the hate flow through you."
-- Emperor Palpatine

Thanks for making is easier Sabin. Bama Sucks!

KevDVol writes:

it

Typical_WillfullyIgnorant_Idiotic_ET_RWNJ writes:

in response to KevDVol:

"Let the hate flow through you."
-- Emperor Palpatine

Thanks for making is easier Sabin. Bama Sucks!

BAMA Sucks?

Really?

Well, if BAMA sucks then how about UT?

Doesn't UT suck too?

I mean, after all, how many BCS championships does UT have?

Remind me who has the most.

kaman writes:

I think most of us Vol fans are just trying to figure out "what was Saban thinking"? At any rate, bring it on! What a draw for that game!

Vol_fan_in_SC writes:

Personally, I am glad for Kiffin. How many people are lucky enough to land 4 of their "dream jobs" in only 7 years?

I am confident Kiffin will be there until he retires. It is nice to know that Knox Kiffin will finally have a place he can call 'home.'

STLVOLS writes:

He is definitely not a good head coach but will do well as offensive coordinator and recruiter.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to Typical_WillfullyIgnorant_Idiotic_ET_RWNJ:

BAMA Sucks?

Really?

Well, if BAMA sucks then how about UT?

Doesn't UT suck too?

I mean, after all, how many BCS championships does UT have?

Remind me who has the most.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

AxeMan writes:

This is a good thing, the "Lane Train" always derails the team he's working for.

TommyJack writes:

It's just goes to show you. Nothing surprises me anymore.

clearknox writes:

I did NOT see this one coming. Just like I don't see Bama's disastrous 2014 season coming. Yet.

pingkr62 writes:

Lane will "serve time" in Tuscaloosa and will eventually land another head coaching job elsewhere. Maybe somewhere like Memphis, Akron, Illinois etc....

tennisvol5 writes:

Yea, ole Kiffin will stay until his next dream job comes open and bolt again. Probably just a matter of time

cltvol writes:

I think he will do a great job with it,,no kidding. He did a great job with our offensive players after a disastrous 2008 offense. he's had his wings clipped and is motivated to perform. Hope I'm wrong.

bricker865#1439238 writes:

in response to Typical_WillfullyIgnorant_Idiotic_ET_RWNJ:

BAMA Sucks?

Really?

Well, if BAMA sucks then how about UT?

Doesn't UT suck too?

I mean, after all, how many BCS championships does UT have?

Remind me who has the most.

Wow, you're perhaps the first troll who paid to join just to post a stupid comment. Congrats!

Esau writes:

Added incentive to pin Bama's ears back next season. Of course it's gonna be a even more bitter pill to swallow if we lose.

MikeNPS writes:

in response to Typical_WillfullyIgnorant_Idiotic_ET_RWNJ:

BAMA Sucks?

Really?

Well, if BAMA sucks then how about UT?

Doesn't UT suck too?

I mean, after all, how many BCS championships does UT have?

Remind me who has the most.

Why do people like you waste your time on this website? Is your life that pathetic?

MikeNPS writes:

in response to pingkr62:

Lane will "serve time" in Tuscaloosa and will eventually land another head coaching job elsewhere. Maybe somewhere like Memphis, Akron, Illinois etc....

Perhaps a junior high school somewhere.

Snapshot writes:

in response to Vol_fan_in_SC:

Personally, I am glad for Kiffin. How many people are lucky enough to land 4 of their "dream jobs" in only 7 years?

I am confident Kiffin will be there until he retires. It is nice to know that Knox Kiffin will finally have a place he can call 'home.'

Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.

I know Saban isn't stupid, but I really don't get this hire. I just hope it comes back to bite him in the as.

Esau writes:

in response to Snapshot:

Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.

I know Saban isn't stupid, but I really don't get this hire. I just hope it comes back to bite him in the as.

Are you kidding? Anyone with any knowledge of the game can't deny Kiffin's offensive credentials. What Saban will have to do is keep Kiffin away from the media and not let him within rock throwing distance of any recruits.

AxeMan writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Esau writes:

On a side note word was Kiffin's wife found Knoxville a bit too folksy for her taste. I doubt sweet cheeks will find Alabama any more cosmopolitan ;)

trek writes:

in response to AxeMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It wouldn't surprise me if Layla stays in LA. They made it very clear that socially, Knoxville wasn't exactly what they were accustomed to, so I can't imagine what would attract her to Tuscaloosa.

stevefromjasper writes:

I wonder if Mike Slive will treat Kiffin any better now that Kiffin is wearing the crimson. I say move the SEC headquarters to a neutral location outside of Alabama! North Korea would be a good spot for Slive and the rest of that outfit.

Slats writes:

Lane should fit right in with the cheats in alobama land! Hope he assist them in getting on Probation or worse like he did USC! Layla more than one?

allvol8 writes:

I believe I have seen everything when I see an elephant fly...

VibrantVol writes:

Kiffin is actually a good play caller. He was a far better coach than Dooley was. He might have been successful at USC longterm once the NCAA sanctions wore off. Sarkisian will have a tough time equaling Kiffin's record there.

Dooley is responsible for the train wreck we have at UT now, not Kiffin. Had Kiffin stayed, UT would've already been competing for championships, as his recruiting & Orgeron's recruiting brought in the best athletes in the nation. Wouldn't be surprised if Orgeron lands another big job somewhere, too.

Saban wouldn't have hired Kiffin if he didn't need help on offense, especially after losing McCarron at QB, & Kiffin is great at developing QB's. He turned Crompton from a nobody into an NFL guy in just one year.

RoadTrip writes:

Oh, goody, the Liar Surfer Dude is back in the SEC working for Little Napoleon. This will make for great theater.

ChesterDrawers writes:

It may take until mid-summer for Lane Kiffin to get moved to Tuscaloosa in light of all the baggage he brings with him!

ORboy writes:

I think it should obvious to even the most casual observer that Lane was hired so he can be Coach Saban's heir apparent. The man is a genuine offensive genius. If you need to have that affirmed, just ask Lane. He'll be glad to confirm that.

wazzya69vol writes:

in response to stevefromjasper:

I wonder if Mike Slive will treat Kiffin any better now that Kiffin is wearing the crimson. I say move the SEC headquarters to a neutral location outside of Alabama! North Korea would be a good spot for Slive and the rest of that outfit.

He can share a room with Rodman!!

MikeNPS writes:

Wow! Kiffin almost destroys two different football programs and yet Bama hires him anyway. Unbelievable.

Vol1968 writes:

This proves BAMA is stupid.

dukdynstyluvr writes:

Layla didn't like Knoxville...I'm sure she will impressed with Tuscaloosa...Saban and Kiffin will make for some real charismatic meetings...I've never seen either smile. I also have no idea what the big deal is about Kiffin...I just don't get it.

MikeNPS writes:

in response to dukdynstyluvr:

Layla didn't like Knoxville...I'm sure she will impressed with Tuscaloosa...Saban and Kiffin will make for some real charismatic meetings...I've never seen either smile. I also have no idea what the big deal is about Kiffin...I just don't get it.

I, too, am shocked that Kiffin continues to land good jobs without ever accomplishing anything anywhere he has ever been. In fact, he was a failure at USC (his dream job) and the team perfomed significantly better AFTER Kiffin was pulled off the team bus and fired.

And yes, I can imagine it was an interesting discussion when Kiffin called his wife to tell her that she would no longer be shopping on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills but rather would now be shopping at Tuscaloosa's finest Walmart.

towmater writes:

You saw it here first: Lane Kiffin will be head coach at Alabama within five years.

Vol_fan_in_SC writes:

in response to Snapshot:

Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.

I know Saban isn't stupid, but I really don't get this hire. I just hope it comes back to bite him in the as.

It makes a lot of sense really. Saban is a defensive guy and that has always been his coaching genius and focus. His involvement on the offensive side is largely supervisory (subject to the general philosophy he wants to run).

He does not want to switch to the Shotgun QB Option-Read, the prevailing offensive system currently. He has recruited (successfully) to the pro-style offense from his first arrival in the SEC. He has the personnel to continue running the pro-style offense (big offensive line, drop back QB, talented RBs & WRs). There is no need for him to abandon what has worked well for him.

Kiffin is a pro-style offense guy. His forte' perfectly matches Saban's desired scheme.

Yes, Kiffin is a schmuck and a putz as a human being. But as an Xs & Os play caller on the offensive side, he and Saban both believe in the same playbook.

Typical_WillfullyIgnorant_Idiotic_ET_RWNJ writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

Why do people like you waste your time on this website? Is your life that pathetic?

Who's wasting their time? Unlike you, I have a grasp on reality. Instead of living in the la la land of thinking a recent 3 time national champion "sucks" but UT is just sooooo great, I see them both for what they really are. Alabama is greatness. And, in terms of what's pathetic, well...

Typical_WillfullyIgnorant_Idiotic_ET_RWNJ writes:

in response to gc_scvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I have an even better idea, in fact it is THE BEST idea, how about you GFY.

Typical_WillfullyIgnorant_Idiotic_ET_RWNJ writes:

Part 1

My oh my, all this anger toward Kiffin 4 years later. Sad and pathetic. It's kind of like the very pathetic jilted ex-spouse that just can't get over it. Kiffin was one of the best things that ever happened to you, you weren't good enough to keep him happy, and he dumped you and you've been wallowing in your own anger and misery and vengefulness ever since...

"Alabama, then undefeated and No. 2 in the nation, edged Tennessee 12-10 on Oct. 24, 2009, Kiffin’s only meeting against Saban in the SEC."

In all of UT's many many many losses to Alabama over the past years, has anybody ever gotten you closer than 12-10? Has anybody ever held Alabama back that much in those same few years? Kiffin was your dream boat and you were his bi-polar, highly insecure, anxiety riddled, emotionally needy boat anchor and he knew he could do better. He's no longer a head coach and he's still doing better because you're still the same whack job of a fan base.

burpee_von_rotweiler_IV writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

I, too, am shocked that Kiffin continues to land good jobs without ever accomplishing anything anywhere he has ever been. In fact, he was a failure at USC (his dream job) and the team perfomed significantly better AFTER Kiffin was pulled off the team bus and fired.

And yes, I can imagine it was an interesting discussion when Kiffin called his wife to tell her that she would no longer be shopping on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills but rather would now be shopping at Tuscaloosa's finest Walmart.

Give Layla a break. She has more class than that. Instead of WalMart, I see her shopping at the numerous outlet malls in the region...and naming their next kid "Krymson Tide."

Typical_WillfullyIgnorant_Idiotic_ET_RWNJ writes:

Part 2

My oh my, all this anger toward Kiffin 4 years later. Sad and pathetic. It's kind of like the very pathetic jilted ex-spouse that just can't get over it. Kiffin was one of the best things that ever happened to you, you weren't good enough to keep him happy, and he dumped you and you've been wallowing in your own anger and misery and vengefulness ever since...

"Kiffin was hired to replace Phillip Fulmer. The Vols went 7-6 in his only year at the helm."

In all of UT's several past seasons has anybody ever gotten you that good of results? Haven't you gone like 5 and 7 or 6 and 6 under Fulmer, Dooley, and Jones for many many years now? Didn't those 7 wins include wins against GA, SC, KY, and Vandy and didn't he also nearly give you wins over UCLA, Auburn, and AL that year too? Kiffin was your dream boat and you were his bi-polar, highly insecure, anxiety riddled, emotionally needy boat anchor and he knew he could do better. He's no longer a head coach and he's still doing better because you're still the same whack job of a fan base.

kaman writes:

Whack job fan base?

Here you go:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPojG...

Typical_WillfullyIgnorant_Idiotic_ET_RWNJ writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

magicbyswh#221420 writes:

Get over it. It is a job and he left for his own reasons and the media will make this a lot bigger issue when the Vols play Bama. Get over it Tennessee fans. The more you all build this up the more Kiffin is loving it. You are feeding his fire.

JSmith525 writes:

Screw Alabubba and Screw Kiffin! nuff said!!!!!

slb1zellwood#1421797 writes:

Whoa Nellie strange things are happening down in title Town. It appears the Czar may be somewhat ailing mentally because this is the second questionable decision he has made for the team this year.

(1)His decision to attempt the long field goal in lieu of letting the clock expire and go into overtime against Auburn most likely cost him and the team a shot at the National Championship.

(2)This decision of hiring Lane Kiffin with all his excessive baggage no matter how good of a Offensive mind he supposedly possess.

Love Bama or Hate them this Vol sincerely hopes his decision to hire Lane works out better than the decision to kick the field goal did.

AxeMan writes:

in response to VibrantVol:

Kiffin is actually a good play caller. He was a far better coach than Dooley was. He might have been successful at USC longterm once the NCAA sanctions wore off. Sarkisian will have a tough time equaling Kiffin's record there.

Dooley is responsible for the train wreck we have at UT now, not Kiffin. Had Kiffin stayed, UT would've already been competing for championships, as his recruiting & Orgeron's recruiting brought in the best athletes in the nation. Wouldn't be surprised if Orgeron lands another big job somewhere, too.

Saban wouldn't have hired Kiffin if he didn't need help on offense, especially after losing McCarron at QB, & Kiffin is great at developing QB's. He turned Crompton from a nobody into an NFL guy in just one year.

"Dooley is responsible for the train wreck we have at UT now, not Kiffin. Had Kiffin stayed, UT would've already been competing for championships..."

You might want to rethink that one. Or think it through for the first time. If Kiffin hadn't left we wouldn't have had Dooley.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

Say what to want to about him, he had us on the right track, we might be on probation now but we would not be in the mess we are in if he had stayed.

TommyJack writes:

The question is, will Kiffy grow bama bangs?

bUTch__please writes:

Everyone wants to point to Kiffin being a successful OC during the USC power years under Carroll as being his strong point on the resume. I think otherwise.

Three years after taking the dream job, not a single USC fan will stand up and say Kiffin was an outstanding play caller. Horribly predictable with Lane, USC exploded offensively when he was fired.

Three years after leaving a powerhouse USC program, Pete Carroll has the number 1 seeded NFC team, Seattle f-ing Seahawks mind you, as the odds on favorite to get to the Super Bowl.

Nick isn't the offensive genius Pete is, so Kiffin will be too free to demonstrate his incompetence...and he will do just that. Kinda like those three dive plays in a row on the goal line against UCLA his first game here...yep..real genius there boys and girls...real genius.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features