Lane Kiffin Fired By USC

Lane Kiffin has been fired as head football coach of the University of South California Trojans.

The unranked Trojans lost to Arizona State in a 62-41 blowout last night. Athletic Director Pat Haden told Kiffin he was out of a job after the team charter plane arrived in Los Angeles early Sunday morning. Haden has scheduled a press conference late today about the Kiffin firing. During Kiffin’s USC four-year tenure, the team is 28-15.

After the Arizona State defeat, Kiffin said that his job security “is the last thing I”m worried about.”

USC has lost seven of its past 11 games and is 3-2 this year overall, with two PAc-12 losses. The team doesn’t take the field again until October 10 against Arizona. Presumably Hayden will announce the appointment of an interim coach later today.

According to USA Today, Kiffin, 38, had his work cut out for him after taking over the USC football program. “Kiffin took the USC job after Pete Carroll’s departure for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks in January 2010, and had to deal with the impact of severe NCAA sanctions, including 30 lost scholarships over a three-year period and a two-year bowl ban, for rules violations that occurred during Carroll’s era.” USC lost an appeal to the NCAA in an effort to restore some of the lost scholarships.

Kiffin had been on the hot seat since the team fell from its number one ranking last year to ending the season with a 7-6 record. Kiffin’s father Monte quit as the team’s defensive coordinator late last year.

A former USC assistant coach under Pete Carroll, Lane Kiffin has had a somewhat tumultuous work history including a big feud with the late Al Davis. “He left USC after the 2007 season to become head coach of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, but was fired midway through the 2008 season. He was hired by Tennessee in 2009, but left the Volunteers after one season to take what he said was his ‘dream job’ at USC in January of 2010.”

He reportedly earned about $2.6 million as USC head coach. In his first season, Kiffin’s USC team went 8-5. The Trojans were 10-2 in 2011, good for first place in the Pac-13 South Division, but NCAA sanctions prevented the team from advancing any further.

[image credit: Neon Tommy]