Posted January 10, 2014

Alabama hires Lane Kiffin as offensive coordinator

Alabama Crimson Tide, Lane Kiffin
Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban will be reunited after they were SEC foes in 2009.

Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban will be reunited after they were SEC foes in 2009. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Lane Kiffin is back in the SEC. Kiffin has been hired as the new offensive coordinator at Alabama, the Crimson Tide announced on Friday. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Alex Scarborough.

Kiffin replaces Doug Nussmeier, who left this week after two years in Tuscaloosa for the same position at Michigan. Kiffin reportedly visited Alabama last month to oversee the Crimson Tide’s offense with head coach Nick Saban.

In a statement, Kiffin thanked Saban for the opportunity to join his staff.

“We want to thank the University of Alabama and Coach Saban for this tremendous opportunity, and we feel humbled and honored to be a part of the Crimson Tide family,” said Kiffin. “I’ve always had the utmost respect for what Coach Saban has done with his programs. Having the unique opportunity to be here last month, I was able to meet some of the great players and the great people in the organization, and I’m very excited to start working with them. We’ve seen the passion and support of the Alabama fans firsthand, and when that’s combined with the storied history and tradition of the program, this is a very special place to coach.”

The former USC coach, who was fired by the Trojans this fall after a 3-2 start, went 28-15 in four seasons in Los Angeles. Prior to taking over USC following Pete Carroll’s departure, Kiffin spent one season as head coach at Tennessee during the 2009 season.

Kiffin’s career hasn’t worked out spectacularly as a head coach, but he has a proven track record as an offensive assistant. He spent six seasons (2001 through ’06) as an assistant at USC and was the Trojans’ offensive coordinator under Carroll in 2005 and 2006. In ’05, Kiffin’s USC offense set Pac-10 records for total offense, first downs, points scored, touchdowns and PATs, and scored at least 50 points a school-record seven times. That Trojans team was also the first to boast a 3,000-yard passer, a pair of 1,000-yard runners and a 1,000-yard receiver in the same season.

Saban said Kiffin’s experience is exactly why the former USC headman is making his way to Tuscaloosa.

“We are excited to have Lane join our staff,” said Saban. “He is an outstanding and creative offensive coach who has great experience both at the college and NFL level. He has a very good understanding of the game and I have always been impressed with what I saw in the games he called. He coaches with a great deal of passion and enthusiasm, and also does an excellent job as a teacher. Lane will be an outstanding addition to our coaching staff and we look forward to him and his family joining us at the University of Alabama.”

Given Kiffin’s offensive credentials, this could end up being a smart move by Saban and Alabama. The Crimson Tide will break in a new quarterback to replace the departed AJ McCarron, and Kiffin has experience molding talented passers. Moreover, Kiffin isn’t likely to ruffle many feathers through the media with his newest gig, either.

With Kiffin back in the SEC, Alabama’s visit to Tennessee on Oct. 25 gains a lot of intrigue. It will be Kiffin’s first return to Knoxville since leaving the Vols for USC in January 2010.

82 comments
Choutsu
Choutsu

Proven Positives: great offensive coordinator, great recruiter, great QB coach

Proven Negatives: bad head coach, bad with the media, bad standard-bearer


None of these negatives matter in this case. 

Jake_Thigpen
Jake_Thigpen

In the top picture, Kiffin looks like he's one  second away from punching Saban square in the mouth. Saban had his automated  "good game, but we stole that one and barely got away" speech. Now, for a relevant comment: I think Kiffin is a great coordinater, poor head coach. Being a head coach entails much more than X's and O's. Kiffin never seemed to grasp the discipline and exemplar model a coach must be to his players, the university community, and the media. 

sjhood13
sjhood13

If or when Lane violates the "no one talks to media except me"; he will be gone faster than the media can make a story of it.  

WbfHaddock
WbfHaddock

You can say this for Lane: he certainly is offensive.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Kiffin was a poor head coach, but he was a good coordinator.  He may well be again.

ScarFace292929
ScarFace292929

I just lost a little bit of respect for Alabama due to hiring this bum. 

Cool
Cool

Kiffen spent the last month working with Saban and the Crimson Tide. Now the loss to Oklahoma makes more sense.

emansaila
emansaila

And thus ends Alabama's legacy

redbox
redbox

Feel this is an exciting hire for Alabama.  Kiffin improved on the great offense of Norm Chow at USC immediately.  He had great players there and even better ones at Bama…..and more of them.  This is one "deep" team and the new recruits are fabulous.  Kiffin will bust his butt to improve his reputation…and that is a good thing. 


RTR  Booking  my LAX-BHM flights this week…..now, if I could just find a hotel room closer than Bessemer.  LOL

Owl
Owl

Any truth to rumor he leaves Bama for Vandy?

gary41
gary41

He's a good recruiter, but his offensive direction is more pro oriented-old school and not on parallel, especially with Oregon or even Stanford.  Despite working against severe NCAA sanctions at USC, he did a very fine, nicely crafted job, which seems lost to virtually all writers.  There has been too much emphasis on his public relations profile, which at Alabama is likely to slip into the background, where it belongs.     

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

Huge gamble on a guy who has been trouble every place he's gone. 

btcvsolo
btcvsolo

Mmmmmm....not sure about this.


I hope Nick knows what he's doing....

FredFlintsone
FredFlintsone

Lane might be a jerk and a terrible head coach but his offenses put up lots of points. With a new QB coming on board great choice for the tide

T5
T5

Maybe he will finally live up to all the hype.

TheProwler64
TheProwler64

@SInow Oh look @NCAA that school that has boosters and coaches paying players just hired a poster child for NCAA Violations. Kiffin to UA

atwood.t
atwood.t

The end of Alabama dominance.

drbcool
drbcool

Start painting the curbs red and adding FIRE LANE to them...

SandHills
SandHills

...as the rest of the SEC takes heart that Kiffin will do for the Tide what he accomplished  at Tennessee and Southern Cal....

6marK6
6marK6

I always felt that half of the term "boy genius" really applied to Lane Kiffin.

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

Alternative Titles to "Ala. Hires Lane Kiffin:"

1) Unexpected Lane Change;

2) Honor thy Father (Monte)...Mom, too;

3) Sweet Home Alabama, Until I Split; or

4) 'Not Results Driven, No Track Record, But My English is Excellent.'

JamesTeasdale
JamesTeasdale

Anyone arguing with any decision Nick Saban makes in regard to his team is a fekkin' dunce. No one can name the last time Nick made a bad hire at any position. Also, never doubt that Bama will be running pretty much the same offense it has in previous years. Welcome aboard Coach Kiffen. 

Zigg6411
Zigg6411

The one thing that Kiffin is good at was recruiting. Otherwise...... not much. It is well known that he is a big failure as a head coach but even as an OC, he doesn't have much of a pedigree. He was USC's OC in 2005 and 2006, inheriting the offense from a true offensive guru, Norm Chow. USC was loaded in those years and already had Chow's offense in place. Then of course Kiffin went on his head coaching carousel of failure. Amazing this guy keeps landing good gigs despite failure after failure.

redbox
redbox

@Owl Why would he take a pay cut to go to Vandy?


Who_MikeDowns
Who_MikeDowns

@Charles_A_Lee I'm actually worried about Kiffin's safety. Spurns Vols for USC the way he did then joins Bama? Wow

sjhood13
sjhood13

@TheIcon1331 @SInow How can you fail up when you go from HC to OC?  Unless you're saying USC is that bad of a job!!!!!

ScarFace292929
ScarFace292929

@TheIcon1331 @SInow Oh, don't ya know? He's on track to be the next coach of the New England Patriots at this rate. lol

redbox
redbox

@atwood.t  Think you are wrong…..I was hoping for this.  He is a masterful recruiter…..very good OC.  

redbox
redbox

@SandHills You mean "improve the offense and guide young QB's?"  Will go with that.  RTR


Cool
Cool

@JamesTeasdale So the former OC, who went to Michigan, was a good Saban hire or do you think he was asked to look for a different job?

redbox
redbox

@JamesTeasdale I am with you, James.  Know the offense players have to be jacked up…..  Breath of fresh air and a new look.  RTR

SandHills
SandHills

@JamesTeasdale 


Well where did the current offensive coordinator go?  I guess Saban must have second thoughts himself over his special teams coach.....

JoieMcCaw
JoieMcCaw

@JamesTeasdale you mean like attempting a returnable field goal with a bunch of slow players unable to defend it.

Wesley11
Wesley11

@JoieMcCaw

It was the right call. It will always be the right call. It was the first time a Division 1 game had ever been won on last-play returned field goal attempt. That just doesn't happen. 10% of the time the kick would have been good and the game over (he had the wind at his back and a kicker that hit them that long in practice and in HS), and 89.99% of the time it would have either gone out of bounds and been dead or the return stopped somewhere in the literal 109 yards of the runback. This was, unfortunately, the .01% of the time the play goes the way it did.

The call was good, the on-field execution was not.

Craig
Craig

@JamesTeasdale @Wesley11 Correct, but only to a point.  The odds are much different when the team kicking has no clue that a miss can even be returned, or when a coach fails to even point that out, or when both the team and the coach fail to even notice that the opponent put someone back who might be able to return it.  In short, when you're stupid the odds are not always in your favor.


Decision to attempt the kick:  Good

Decision to ignore reality:  Bad

Results of play:  Priceless

JamesTeasdale
JamesTeasdale

@Wesley11 Correct Wes. The odds against the kicker kicking the 57 yd FG are much more favorable than the kick returner taking it 9 yds deep in the endzone and running it all the way back . Saban made the right call....

redbox
redbox

@JamesTeasdale I will take Alabama over Auburn this year in Tuscaloosa.  Hope this as as great a "hire" as I think it will be.  Know the QB's must be smiling.