OT: USC sacks Lane Kiffin

Submitted by ixcuincle on September 29th, 2013 at 7:50 AM
@USC_Athletics 7:28 AM

Breaking news: Lane Kiffin has been relieved of his duties as USC's head football coach per AD Pat Haden.

It had to be done. The decline was too much for an alleged historical program like USC. 

Was always wary of the hire, especially when he had only been at Tennessee for one year with mediocre results. 


Leaders And Best

September 29th, 2013 at 9:14 AM ^

Their season is already lost at 0-2 in the Pac-12 with UCLA and Stanford still to play. Just like Ohio State in 2011, USC will have their coach hired by the end of November and will recruit like gangbusters until Signing Day like Urban Meyer did after he got hired. They will also have the drop on any other major program that will be hiring this offseason (possibly Texas) just like Ohio State had on PSU in 2011.

I Like Burgers

September 29th, 2013 at 9:38 AM ^

They can do this, but that limits your coaching pool to people that aren't coaching at the moment.  it worked for OSU because Urb was broadcasting and available for hire.  Who is out there that USC would want?  By waiting to hire a permanent coach at the end of the season, you can at least poach from other schools.

I think they just did it because they were sick of Kiffin's shit.  And either way, by firing him now, you still signal to recruits that there's going to be a new regime come next season.  At least makes it a little clearer to them.

Leaders And Best

September 29th, 2013 at 10:03 AM ^

You can "officially" hire the head coach right when their regular season ends, but the school will probably have the hire done through back channels in advance. Urban Meyer was "officially" hired right after the Michigan game at the end of Ohio State's regular season. Even if he were still coaching at Florida at the time, he would have been able to take the job if he wanted. Didn't really matter that he was out of coaching in terms of timing. As long as the hire is made before December, the school will have enough time to recover. Another example would be Kevin Sumlin: Texas A&M hired Sumlin right after Houston's season ended (he skipped out on the bowl game).

It may limit you from hiring a current NFL head coach, but I think it is unlikely one would step down from the NFL to USC. You probably could still get away with hiring an NFL coordinator like PSU did with Bill O'Brien.

Clarence Beeks

September 29th, 2013 at 10:32 PM ^

"Urban Meyer was "officially" hired right after the Michigan game at the end of Ohio State's regular season."

Which is a total BS move on Meyer's part, because he got all of the internal TV prep access to the Michigan program since he called that game. Why Michigan allowed him that access is beyond me.

The Geek

September 29th, 2013 at 11:23 AM ^

USC has a tremendously wealthy booster/graduate resource with which to raise cash (arguably the wealthiest in the country IIRC). They can really open the checkbook for a top-shelf coach.

I'm curious as to what lies ahead for Kiffin. Nobody will hire this guy again, will they?

If I were Lane Kiffin I'd take my millions and retire in the Caribbean, Europe or somewhere exotic. I'm guessing he won't... 

Mr. Yost

September 29th, 2013 at 11:19 AM ^

I've worked in all levels of college athletics administration and unless a coach does something to get fired (i.e. that crazy man at Rutgers), usually an AD never wants to fire a coach mid-season.

However, Haden had no choice.

They are going to get destroyed by Stanford, I assume they play Oregon and obviously they play UCLA. It was only going to get worse.

As it gets worse, especially in LA, you lose recruits, fans, boosters, etc.

On top of that, what if they go 7-5, but they BEAT...say Oregon and UCLA? Yuck. Now it's not as clear as it is today. You still want to fire him, but it's a little harder when a coach rallies and closes strong with some big wins.

...at a smaller school with less scrutiny you're more likely to ride it out. I mean, you're not going to hire anyone right now unless John Gruden or Herm Edwards come knocking on your door. So ideally you'd want to finish the year. Fire after that last game, have an interim coach the bowl game (if you get one), and hire your new coach during the bowl season. Like Ohio, you'd likely already have someone hired by then (Urban was hired behind the scenes before the Michigan game despite what he says...his agent was working that week we were playing (and destroying) Nebraska. That's fact).


In the end, Kiffin didn't deserve the job to begin with, he wasn't a nice guy and he didn't succeed at a place where you have to succeed. I don't feel bad for him. Just like I didn't feel bad for Rich Rod. And like Rich Rod, he'll land on his feet somewhere making millions.


The Geek

September 29th, 2013 at 11:28 AM ^

Great point about Kiffin staying on and getting lucky against UCLA or Oregon. Frankly, I am surprised Haden kept him around (in hindsight, of course). Kiffin is a true douche-canoe, I just hope he doesn't end up in the B1G.

USC looked horrible last night.  I make the remark that as Kiffin was walking the sidelines, a few times I noticed nobody wanted to get near him. Dead man walking...


September 29th, 2013 at 8:01 AM ^

buddy has been saying that this had to happen.   i told him kiffen = rich rod analogy.   seemed like a bizarre hire at the time and i'm sure he'll be glad. 

is strange they let him go after 4 games though.  i suspect there is much internal turmoil that would be entertaing/shocking to find out about that led to this mid-season lynching. 


September 29th, 2013 at 9:08 AM ^

I agree this was a long time coming, but the RR analogy is completely off base.  When Lane was hired at SC, he had a grand totoal of one mediocre year as a college HC, along with a total disaster stint at Oakland and a history of pissing everyone off.  When RR was hired at Michigan he had turned WVU from a mid-level program to a BCS winner, a proven track record as a college coordinator, and had been successful as a head coach earlier at the lower ranks.  You rarely hire a HC with a more proven track record than Rich, and you rarely hire one with a less-proven track record than Lane.

Leaders And Best

September 29th, 2013 at 10:12 AM ^

I think most people saw the same thing: a stopgap to keep the program afloat through the sanctions. Kiffin could recruit, and I think the thinking or hope was that he could keep the cupboard full for the next coach. No elite coaching candidate was going to take that job and have to weather the brunt of the sanctions.

Once the recruits stopped coming this year, he was ushered out immediately. I think Haden probably hoped he could get one more year out of him so the next coach could come in fresh with the program at full strength. But once Mora put out the dumpster fire at UCLA, I think Haden was forced to act.