This past week, Nick Saban stated that, amidst NFL speculation, Lane Kiffin “is committed to us right now.” It appears that, moving forward, that commitment will include the entire 2015 season.
And addresses — and puts an end to — the staff overhaul speculation for good measure.
In a press release, and less than two weeks before National Signing Day, Alabama confirmed that Kiffin will return to the Tide for the upcoming season. Last weekend saw Kiffin’s name surface as the front-runner for the coordinator job of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.
This weekend begins with statements from both the interested parties reaffirming their commitments.
“We’ve very pleased and happy that Lane is going to be staying here at the University of Alabama with us,” Saban said. “He’s done a fabulous job and is one of the finest offensive coaches in the country. He is going to have plenty of opportunities in the future and we want to continue to help him develop as a coach so when he leaves here, he’ll be in a very good situation. Our offense was extremely productive last season and we look forward to building on some of the good things we did on that side of the ball with this year’s team.”
In his statement, Kiffin intimated that the speculation involving the 49ers was overstated.
“I made a comment at the Sugar Bowl that I would be back this fall at Alabama and that is definitely the plan,” said Kiffin in his statement. “This time of year, there are lots of things out there regarding other coaching opportunities, but I want to reaffirm my commitment to the University of Alabama, Coach Saban, and our team. I’m excited about what our offensive staff was able to accomplish last year, but I also think there are a lot of things we can do a better job of in terms of putting our players in the best situation to have success.
“After being here for a year, I can see why this is such a special place in terms of the history, tradition, and how much football means to everyone at Alabama. I also have learned so much in the time I’ve spent with Coach Saban and really have a better understanding of what makes him the great coach that he is. I think the more time I can spend learning from him, the better coach I will be in the future.”
Kiffin recently completed his first season with the Tide, setting a school record in his debut for total offense while quarterback Blake Sims and wide receiver Amari Cooper both set records for passing yards and receiving yards, respectively. He was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s top assistant coach.