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. 



September 29th, 2013 at 8:26 AM ^

When they hired him in the first place, the move was so bizarre and unseemly, the only good rationalization I could come up with was that they hired him to be the fall guy for Pete Carroll, riding out the sanctions with no real expectation for success, and fire him after the sancrions expire, having already found a solid replacement. Maybe most of this has transpired --time will tell-- but firing him at this time, in this manner, indicates a base, reactive decision-making process in which they had no idea WTF they were doing from start to finish.

MI Expat NY

September 29th, 2013 at 9:01 AM ^

I thought the move was reasonable for USC when they hired Kiffin.  It was only looked upon as bizarre and unseemly since Kiffin had been at Tennessee for only one season and the internet had already figured out he was a giant douchebag.   His one year at Tennessee was reasoably successful.  They played Florida and Alabama really tough and he was building, what was seen at the time as, recruiting momentum.  Plus, he had the Al Davis sympathy factor going on.  

If he had stayed at USC instead of going to the raiders, he would have been the obvious in-house replacement for Pete Carroll.  Thus, it was a hire that made sense to USC.  

Mr Miggle

September 29th, 2013 at 9:38 AM ^

They knew he could recruit and had local connections. Presumably they were happy with him as an OC and he was bringing his dad along. For a program with looming sanctions, it's unlikely they could have gotten someone with similar qualifications. The main knock against him was his douchiness, not such an impediment to success in L.A. I thought it was a risky hire for a completely different reason. It looked like USC was thumbing their nose at the NCAA by bringing back one of Carroll's assistants. They probably were and it probably cost them.

Bill the Butcher

September 29th, 2013 at 11:04 AM ^

This was exaclty my thinking as well.  They were hoping to just ride the wave of the sanctions with Lane Kiffin, if he turned out to be better than expected, great, but if he was mediocre they could start fresh when they have a full roster and recruiting class.  Unfortunately, the level of suck was too great.


September 29th, 2013 at 8:29 AM ^

Poor, poor Lane Kiffen.  He's under contract for the balance of this year and two more for a measly 4MM per year.  And when he goes home this is who greets him at the door

I think he'll be ok.  Somehow.....


September 29th, 2013 at 11:58 AM ^

she looks like a typical front-running gold-digging hot chick who will stay with a guy only as long as he's perceived as an alpha male bringing in the good life to which she believes she's entitled. Now that her husband is widely regarded as a douchey loser, other successful alpha males driving Lambos and flying private jets will come sniffing around, and they won't have the stink of failure on them. If I were Lane, I'd be nervous if I didn't have an ironclad pre-nup.


September 29th, 2013 at 8:47 AM ^

I hate this news. I want USC back to where they were before Pete Carrol was getting them the best players money could buy. When they were referred to as Southern Cal Community College for their decade of futility in football.


September 29th, 2013 at 8:49 AM ^

The only surprise here is it happened mid-year.

Then again ... provided they have a serviceable assistant coach to hold down the fort, this gives them between now and signing day to find the right coach for that program.  Rather than a frantic search, this can be a thorough search.

No existing coach is likely to move mid-season, so the hire date will likely be after the season ends.  The biggest challenge will be keeping secret whoever they choose.



September 29th, 2013 at 9:37 AM ^

I didn't realize that had happened at Florida.  That's pretty unusual.  I'm surprised Florida offered that, and I'm surprised Zook accepted that.  What a difficult position to be in.

This is shaping up to be a pretty seismic year for coaching changes.  When both USC (now confirmed) and Texas (loudly speculated) are in the hunt, that means we're in for some shakeup.  Dominoes will fall.

Shakey Jake

September 29th, 2013 at 8:51 AM ^

USC gave him $500K to buy a home and I wonder if they are asking for it back stat.

And while I know some of you questioned the hire, you have to remember he (and Sark) was integral in USC's success under Carroll. It's why they wanted him back. 


Watching how Washington is doing, I wouldn't be surprised to see HAden reach out to Sark to come back. 




September 29th, 2013 at 8:55 AM ^

This is going to make a lot of fan bases very nervous.  Boise St., TCU, Clemson, Tex A&M (Sumlin's stock will never be higher than it is now), Ok St. (though I can't imagine Picken's letting Gundy get away), Northwestern, and definitely Louisivlle.  Maybe Kirby Smart finally decides to leave Bama.


Edit: Forgot about Sarkisian at Washington.  


September 29th, 2013 at 9:12 AM ^

USC should be a dominant national program, and I'm guessing the next guy they bring in will be someone like a Kirby Smart or Steve Sarkisiain - a big-time name or a prominent legacy who understands the culture at a major program and how to keep the media at bay while simply recruiting well.  I mean, it shouldn't be hard to get kids to go to USC, so just keep everyone off your back and guys will come given some time.  


September 29th, 2013 at 9:13 AM ^

Not like every sports fan didn't see this coming. They've had quite a few decommits over the past few weeks so they're trying to salvage what they can. Whoever steps in is going to have  to do some serious work, Kiffin should just be a recruiting coordinator or something.


September 29th, 2013 at 9:44 AM ^

For those of you suggesting people like Kirby Smart or Steve Sarkisian, that's not going to happen. This is USC, so this is going to be a big name that will appease the boosters. As much of a joke as it has become, this may be the job to finally pull Gruden out of the booth. With the things USC provides, hell, there aren't many pro jobs better than USC.


September 29th, 2013 at 10:02 AM ^

How can such a selfless young coach who only cares about making his kids better just be tossed aside like this? I guess there is just no room for good guys in the coaching ranks anymore. I mean what's next. They better not fire Schiano.


September 29th, 2013 at 10:03 AM ^

if Jon Gruden has an inch of ever coaching college football, he'd have to actually listen if offered. There are only a handful of college jobs as BIG as USC, at this point, anybody and everybody could be a candidate. I think Gruden will be the front-runner if he wants it. If the usual big names turn down, ex, Meyer, Saban, Gruden, then they will probably look at up and comers; ex. Sumlin, O'brien, Golden.