Lane Kiffin, the controversial upstart coach who has held top jobs with the University of Tennessee and University of Southern California, as well as the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, may be headed back to the coaching ranks, this time as an underling to Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban.
Kiffin was reported to be interviewing for Alabama’s offensive coordinator job, possibly as soon as today, according to ESPN.
The now-38-year-old coach succeeded Pete Carroll at USC in 2010 after Carroll departed for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. The hiring was a surprise after the outspoken Lane Kiffin left the head coach job at Tennessee after just a single season, leading to student outrage and on-campus protests.
But just five games into the 2013 season, his fourth at USC, Lane Kiffin was suddenly fired. He got the news in the middle of the night when his team landed back in Los Angeles after a humiliating 62-41 loss to Arizona State.
After success in first two seasons with the Trojans, the team finished out of the college football Top 25 rankings by the end of 2012, and started 2013 by losing to its first two conference opponents.
Last month, Kiffin spent a week at Alabama in an observational capacity. With the departure of Crimson Tide Offensive Coordinator Doug Nussmeier this week to take the same job at Michigan, Alabama coach Saban now has Lane Kiffin in his sights for the job.
“Lane is a really good offensive coach, and I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for him,” Saban said during Kiffin’s visit prior to Alabama’s appearance in the Sugar Bowl. “Just to come in and brainstorm a little bit to get some professional ideas with our guys is a really positive thing.”
According to CBS Sports college football columnist Jeremy Fowler, Lane Kiffin, “runs a pro-style offense, which fits with Saban’s style of ball control and a physical running game.”
In January of 2007, Lane Kiffin, who was then a mere 31-years-old, took over the top spot for the Oakland Raiders, becoming the youngest head coach in the league’s post-1946 history. He was fired in September of 2008.