Posted September 29, 2013

USC fires Lane Kiffin after 3-2 start, names Ed Orgeron interim coach

Lane Kiffin, USC Trojans

USC fired head football coach Lane Kiffin early Sunday morning following the Trojans’ 62-41 loss to Arizona State on Saturday, the team announced.

USC athletic director Pat Haden informed Kiffin of his termination after the team’s flight back to Los Angeles from Tempe, Ariz. In his afternoon press conference, Haden announced that former Ole Miss coach and current USC defensive line coach Ed Orgeron has been named the interim coach.

The Trojans’ loss to the Sun Devils on Saturday tied the mark for most points given up by the program in a loss (62 points). The result dropped the Trojans to 3-2 on the year, with both losses coming against Pac-12 foes. In all, USC has lost seven of its last 11 games under Kiffin, including four against ranked opponents. Kiffin’s overall record in four seasons at USC was 28-15.

Kiffin arrived at USC in 2010 after two short stints with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and the Tennessee Volunteers. The Trojans were hit with NCAA sanctions stemming from the previous era under Pete Carroll, which included the loss of 30 scholarships over three years and a two-year postseason ban. Nevertheless, Kiffin finished 8-5 in his first season at the helm, jumped to 10-2 in 2011 — a mark that included a win over No. 4 Oregon — and headed into the 2012 campaign with the preseason No. 1 team in the AP Poll.

FARRAR: Several NFL names could in play for USC

The 2012 season didn’t pan out as expected. After a 6-1 start, USC dropped five of its final six games, including a loss to crosstown rival UCLA for the first time in five years, to finish 7-6. The Trojans capped their 2012 effort with a 21-7 Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech.

Heading into 2013, pressured on Kiffin mounted. Still, just before the season, Haden released a video statement in which he reiterated that Kiffin was not on the hot seat.

I anticipate the media will ask me if our football coach is on the hot seat this year. Here is my answer, and it will be my answer whenever I’m asked: He is not. I’m behind Lane Kiffin 100 percent. I have great confidence in him. He’s a very hard-working, detail-oriented coach. He’s a dynamic play-caller in my estimation, and he’s an exceptional recruiter. He knows USC and he knows what it takes to be successful here.

After USC’s Week 2 loss to Washington State, reports surfaced that the Trojans held a players-only meeting, a report which Kiffin denied. USC wide receiver Marqise Lee told reporters that the meeting did happen, saying, “Kiffin didn’t know.”

To many, the 2013 season was to be Kiffin’s true test of adversity as a head coach. The son of NFL coaching legend Monte Kiffin, the younger Kiffin rose in the coaching profession at a meteoric pace, something often attributed to his family name. After six seasons as an assistant at USC under Carroll, Kiffin became an NFL head coach with the Raiders at 31, a head coach in the SEC with Tennessee at 33 and the headman at USC at 34.

The question now is where USC goes from here. The Trojans’ job is regarded as one of the most coveted positions in the country, and many names have popped up as potential candidates for the job, including Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, Washington coach Steve Sarkisian — a former USC assistant — and Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald.

76 comments
RichardHernandez
RichardHernandez

Vols fans are so obsessed with Kiffin. Get over it already.

TeeHolmes
TeeHolmes

I guess he goes crawling back to daddy in Dallas.

Heath_Bell_Experience
Heath_Bell_Experience

seems like Ed Orgeron might want to coach at Oregon instead cuz his name looks quite a bit like Oregon

crimsonmastodon
crimsonmastodon

Al Davis tried to tell people, but they didn't listen.

AnthonyS.Andrews
AnthonyS.Andrews

Gotta love the University of Spoiled Children! Fight On losers!

muser
muser

Future Missouri Tigers head coach.....

DjangoZeaman
DjangoZeaman

Seems like such a nice guy and he's been loved everywhere he has coached. I can't understand why they would fire him.

ApolloOne
ApolloOne

Couldn't happen to a nicer d-bag. I'm sure Tennessee eyes are smiling today.

sptsguy12345
sptsguy12345

Never had the morals or the skills to lead a big college program. 

TH20
TH20

Chris Peterson.

mackseaton
mackseaton

EEEEYAAAHOOOO!!! Way, way overdue but great news anyway. 


Why anyone, anywhere ever hired this joke is a total mystery to me. An even bigger mystery is why any parent would want their kid playing for him. 


Good riddance. Sadly, he will re-emerge somewhere desperate....Slippery Rock maybe?

Cool
Cool

Sadly many times people get caught up in a name.  Bowden, your last name is Bowden.. well by all means, please let us sign you to a million dollar contract to coach our team.   Holtz, oh yes, we know you fathers record and we are confident you will be just like him, come on board.

FredFlintsone
FredFlintsone

Like Rik Neuheisel , Kiffin remains a coaching legend in his own mind both terrible head coaches. Neuhesiel was a good QB coach and Kiffin a good recruiter, neither will ever be head coaching material

airmjbsanders
airmjbsanders

Finally someone took off their rose-colored glasses & saw Lane for what he is -- Monty's son & NOTHIN ELSE!  Kyle Shanny may be the next guy to get exposed as a blatant failure of nepotism -- Skins fans can only hope...

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

Kiffin might be done forever as a head coach at the FBS level.  Bad enough that he's consistently failed, but more importantly he's burned too many bridges in the course of both the Raiders and Tennessee jobs.  What major program would want to take a risk on this fool now?  Competency issues + character concerns + proven flight-risk = basically no reason for anybody to want to pay Kiffin very much.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

The losses this year are just the needed excuse. Pat Haydn realized what we  knew long ago. This guy is poison. Every where he goes he is poison. You know how some players are called 'coach killers'? Well, Kiffin is a 'program killer'. He's proven to be, not just a disaster, but wholly dishonorable. You feel dirty just reading about him and what he does. USC is FAR better off. It'll take a few years to turn things around, but with a decent coach (and James Franklin would be a fantastic choice, if he can leave Vanderbilt) they'll be okay. 

PaulDavidson1
PaulDavidson1

only in America...could a coach be fired for having a record OVER .500!  What's next, 50% of coaches (with records under .500) being fired every year?

btcvsolo
btcvsolo

Couldn't have happened to a 'nicer' guy...

There are probably some very happy players in So Cal today...

DAVID221
DAVID221

Kidding losing his job was no surprise. What was a surprise was that didn't happen after the embarrassing Washington State loss.

Cool
Cool

This story is sounding familiar... Highly regarded team fires coach, then looks towards the NFL for an assistant that is on the rise... they hype up the assistant and cheer him on while he finishes remains an assistant coach because his team is going to the Super Bowl.. He takes over the program with great anticipation and then... fails.    Come on folks, we have all seen this.... Del Rio is an NFL type coach, not a college coach.  Let's look at the list of NFL coaches who were utter failures in the college ranks.. besides the newly fired Kiffin.   Weiss, Callahan... just to start the list.

PhilipH
PhilipH

He left his bag on the bus when they pulled him off.  Imagine what the players did to it....ewwww!

Hola
Hola

This team does not have the depth (only 53 scholarships).  Not a Kiffin fan, but it's not all his fault.

Aggie81
Aggie81

I haven't followed the USC Trojans; however, I believe that they take their football just as serious as those done in Austin Texas.  Due to the fact that both coaches have been on the HOT seat since the beginning of the season.  

I expect that as early as October 12, after Texas loses to Oklahoma, that Mac Brown will be joining Kiffin in the ranks of the unemployed...


GarlandPierce
GarlandPierce

@muser Missouri shouldn't even look at him. He is nothing but trouble and will try to turn the Tiger's into the USC of the SEC, that is what he did in Knoxville. He tried to strip all tradition and used the Jumbotron with videos of USC to bring players to Tennessee. Missouri has to much class to full with him. I hope.

GarlandPierce
GarlandPierce

@ApolloOne Yes we are. But even thought he sat the program back some I am glad he left because it's hard to tell how many years Tennessee would end up on probation with him still there.


Plainview
Plainview

@mackseaton slippery rock is a pipedream, he'll probably end up somewhere big and desperate.  Texas?


If only he was exiled to slippery rock for the rest of his career.

Fifilo
Fifilo

@FredFlintsone Add Chucky to this list, who at least was smart enough to get out out with his winnings playing another man's hand.

Lizard_King
Lizard_King

@leehwgoc there will be a team that takes him...some team that is so desperate that they'll take a chance on him....like the University of Kansas, for instance. 

ApolloOne
ApolloOne

@Rickapolis

Agreed. Haden always played it pretty close to the vest, but I think the day he got there, he put Kiffin on a short leash.

Hendo
Hendo

@PaulDavidson1  Are you sure this wouldn't happen in any other country? I suppose  'Merica is the only country with college football, so, technically you are right.

Cool
Cool

@PaulDavidson1 Why don't you go to your work place and only accomplish 60% of the task put before you and then tell us in one year if you are still working at the same place?

mackseaton
mackseaton

@PaulDavidson1 Only in America could a superficial bum like Kiffin ever get a HC job in the first place.  The man was sheer nonsense from day one. Al Davis should have booted his butt into San Francisco Bay years ago.

gibbyg
gibbyg

Pete Carroll did OK.  Jim Mora. Jim Harbaugh. David Shaw.  It works both ways

muser
muser

@GarlandPierce He needs to learn to drink more, otherwise he and Mizzoo are a perfect fit. They have the same amount of class.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@Lizard_King @leehwgoc I doubt it.  After the way Kiffin bolted on Tennessee, such a school would have to be concerned that Kiffin would bolt them as well after any possible success restoring his reputation.  Considered together with the fact that he also simply doesn't have a winning resume to begin with, there's just no logical upside for any major D-1 program to want to invest in Kiffin, much less take a chance on him.

Cool
Cool

@gibbyg Those are college making the transition to Pro.. not the other way around.  Name me NFL coach who moved to college and was successful, leaving out the ones who jumped from college to pro only to return to the college ranks.

muser
muser

@Cool @leehwgocCharlie has had mixed results but he's not a cheater or a dirtbag.

Cool
Cool

@leehwgoc @Lizard_King I think the reference to "Kansas" meant the Lizard was pointing to the fact that no matter how much of a failure you are (Weiss) there is still some school willing to hire you.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@PaulDavidson1 @Lizard_King Except USC's current roster this year and last year is still more or less unaffected by the scholarship reduction, in terms of the talent on hand.

You need to get a clue, pal.  Penalties or not, Kiffin 'led' super talented on paper Trojan teams to consistent mediocrity and failure these last two seasons, routinely losing games to scrub programs they had no business losing to.

USC didn't hire Kiffin to just be over .500.  They're USC, you clown.  10+ win seasons are a requirement if you want to keep that job, especially if you have had players like Barkley, Woods, and Lee and your disposal during that interval.

zonkeriah
zonkeriah

@Cool @gibbyg Carroll went from New England to USC. Mora went from Atlanta/Seattle to UCLA. Shaw went from Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, and Baltimore Ravens to Stanford.