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It's official: Kiffin heading to Southern Cal

USC’s website has made the news official: Lane Kiffin is heading back to Southern Cal as the head football coach, leaving Tennessee after only one season.

We are excited to welcome Lane Kiffin back to USC,” athletic director Mike Garrett said in a release. ” I can’t tell you how delighted we are to have Ed Orgeronback on staff and to have Monte Kiffin join us. They are some of thepre-eminent coaches in the game. Ed did a marvelous job during hisprevious time at USC and we all know that Monte is a defensive guru. Iknow Lane will fill out his staff with other outstanding assistantslike them, ones who Trojan players and fans will really like.”

The hiring of Kiffin completes a whirlwind day out of Heritage Hall, where less than 24 hours ago they offered the head coaching job to Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio.

Kiffin’s hiring also leaves Tennessee Volunteer fans in shock. Kiffin leaves Rocky Top after one season, taking with him his two most important coaches and staining a program that had stability on top of the program for over three decades, with Johnny Majors, Phillip Fulmer, and Kiffin the only coaches since the late seventies. Kiffin’s hire energized the program, but was a major shift for the program, bringing in an outsider to coach a program that hadn’t done so since the days of General Robert Neyland. 

“This was not a very easy decision and it happened very quick,” Kiffinsaid in a one-minute statement to assembled Tennessee media. “I really believed that this was probably the only place I’d haveleft here to go.”

Kiffin didn’t allow cameras to roll during his impromptu news conference, only adding that in his fourteen months that he gave everything he had and that the program was in a better place than he found it, before walking off to hordes of unanswered questions. 

Bringing Kiffin back to Southern California brings a coach back to a school where he has recruiting relationships and experience in the conference, and a relationship with many of the holdover members of the Trojans staff. Furthermore, ESPN is reporting that Kiffin is bringing back with him Norm Chow, a major defection from Rick Neuheisel’s UCLA’s staff, and the first shot fired across the bow at his new rivals from Kiffin in his return to Southern Cal. 

Kiffin’s hiring is a much needed victory for Trojan athletic director Mike Garrett, who had been widely ridiculed in the days following the news that Carroll was leaving. But the hiring could also be considered a brazen move for the athletic department long seen as lackadaisical under Garrett, and could draw the ire of the NCAA.

Kiffin ran afoul with the NCAA in his one season in Knoxville, racking up a multitude of minor infractions in his short tenure at Tennessee, and currently has an investigation still open regarding the misuse of recruiting hostesses at out-of-state high school football games.

The decision to bring Kiffin, Chow and Orgeron back to USC reunites the supporting cast from the apex of the Trojan dynasty.  We’ll find out soon if the Trojan program can be what it was without its former star.

Talk about a story made for Hollywood…

Permalink 25 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Tennessee Volunteers, USC Trojans
25 Responses to “It's official: Kiffin heading to Southern Cal”
  1. ParkerFly says: Jan 12, 2010 10:16 PM

    I’ll be damn. Al Davis was right after all.

  2. jupe says: Jan 12, 2010 10:38 PM

    “I really believed that this was probably the only place I’d have left here to go.” kiffin
    too bad garrett didn’t realize this.

  3. Lance says: Jan 12, 2010 10:47 PM

    There were cameras rolling, I just saw the video. It was pretty pathetic.

  4. wavoka says: Jan 12, 2010 10:50 PM

    Congrats USC. You just hired one of the top 2 or 3 douchebags in the world.

  5. drajhansa says: Jan 12, 2010 11:09 PM

    i couldn’t care less about lane kiffin or tennessee (in fact, i’m happy to have him out of the sec), but how does this happen? how can a coach just walk away from a contract that he just signed because he likes someone else even more?

  6. jd says: Jan 12, 2010 11:18 PM

    Too bad Urban Meyer didn’t take the Notre Dame gig, damn!

  7. skinny pigeon says: Jan 12, 2010 11:18 PM

    Kiffin sucks. Can’t wait for the sanctions to come down.

  8. tryagain says: Jan 13, 2010 12:05 AM

    congrats tenn!
    and lol at you usc, ya poor bastards.

  9. TitanicComeback says: Jan 13, 2010 12:14 AM

    Report out of Knoxville: two to three THOUSAND Tennessee students rioted near the athletic department, literally waiting for Kiffin to come out so they could accost him. I LOVE THE SEC

  10. IMWalrus says: Jan 13, 2010 12:26 AM

    I saw it coming when he got here. Cali-Boy in Tennessee? HaHa. What’s worse for UT is Daddy Kiffin leaving too.

  11. electricrelish says: Jan 13, 2010 12:27 AM

    Leaving after just one year is tough. Really tough for all those kids he left hanging. I imagine some may try to go with him, and some current players may sit out a year.
    Still, I understand the decision. The USC job is not something that you get offered more than once in a lifetime. The opportunity may never come again. It’s his dream job. I know that I couldn’t have turned it down. He’s already in a position to succeed with Monte Kiffin, Ed Orgeron, and now Norm Chow. Plus, the PAC-10 is a much easier conference compared to the SEC. Every thing was right about this job. Pete Carroll was right. There’s never a good time to leave. I really can’t fault Lane Kiffin for jumping at the opportunity. It was just too good to pass up.
    Furthermore, who wouldn’t want to live in Los Angeles compared to Knoxville?

  12. IMWalrus says: Jan 13, 2010 12:33 AM

    I saw it coming when he got here. Cali-Boy in Tennessee? HaHa. What’s worse for UT is Daddy Kiffin leaving too.

  13. RedLeg15 says: Jan 13, 2010 12:41 AM

    drajhansa, I have to believe Tennessee left Kiffin an out in his contract. Either there was the out for certain schools or return to the NFL or or USC paid a buy out to UT.

  14. eaglealan64 says: Jan 13, 2010 4:21 AM

    I’m with drajhansa – how can UT and UCLA let this happen???

  15. Maggie says: Jan 13, 2010 8:34 AM

    I hope Tennessee hires Mike Leach. I’d love to see him coach in the SEC.

  16. Bucforever says: Jan 13, 2010 9:38 AM

    Hey Lane, can we[ the Bucs] get daddy back now or was he part of the deal too?

  17. Bucforever says: Jan 13, 2010 9:41 AM

    Sorry I did not read the report close enough. Looks like daddy Kiffin will be propping up sonny boy again!

  18. xacvol says: Jan 13, 2010 10:39 AM

    Have you ever been to Knoxville? Then shut your mouth.

  19. tryagain says: Jan 13, 2010 1:20 PM

    i’d much rather live in knoxville than la, electricfish.
    imo- la is the worst of the big cities in america.

  20. cbfan says: Jan 13, 2010 1:26 PM

    Students ready to riot? Are you kidding me? Get a life! He’s a football coach leaving for what he thinks is a better job, nothing more.

  21. xacvol says: Jan 13, 2010 3:27 PM

    Not all the students, just the ones that heard the news at the bars on the strip…nothing better to do on a Tuesday night/Wednesday morning…

  22. LaneKiffin707 says: Jan 13, 2010 4:54 PM

    Al Davis hasn’t been right about anything in the last 20 years. Good for Kiffin getting out Hillbilly Heaven..You Dumbasses in Tennessee should have kept that Fat Toad Fulmer in the first place..Now go back to burning your furniture…

  23. NCAA to hit Kiffin, Vols with ‘failure to monitor’ violation | CollegeFootballTalk says: Feb 2, 2011 7:28 PM

    [...] Posted by John Taylor on February 2, 2011, 7:28 PM EST Nearly 13 months after he left for his dream job at USC, Tennessee still can’t escape the lingering effects of Lane Kiffin‘s one-year tenure on [...]

  24. Tide’s flirty ‘Fax Cam’ causes stir | says: Feb 3, 2011 9:02 PM

    [...] 13 months after he left for his dream job at USC, Tennessee still can’t escape the lingering effects of Lane Kiffin‘s one-year tenure on Rocky [...]

  25. Report: Lane Kiffin helping to evaluate… Alabama’s offense? | CollegeFootballTalk says: Dec 16, 2013 2:06 PM

    […] was the head coach at Tennessee in 2009, infamously jumping ship for USC after just one season with the Vols.  While Kiffin engaged in verbal fisticuffs with just about […]

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