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Lane Kiffin tells AP he’s pondered coaching a smaller program or high school

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Lane Kiffin returned to USC in 2010 to become the Trojans’ head coach following a one-year stint at Tennessee, but the dream job Kiffin accepted hasn’t exactly gone smoothly.

Sure, there are the NCAA sanctions he inherited, which include scholarship reductions and previously banned the program from going bowling, but the 7-6 record USC finished the 2012 season with after being the preseason No. 1 team raised questions if 2013 would be the last year Kiffin coached the Trojans. And that came just one year removed from going 10-2 with no hopes of a postseason. Then there was the heavy staff turnover this offseason that saw Kiffin’s own dad, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, depart — likely as an act of falling on the proverbial sword for his son.

So, yeah, it hasn’t always been an easy go for Kiffin, who enters his fourth year with USC. In an interview with Ralph Russo of the Associated Press, Kiffin admits as much by joking, although with perhaps some sense of seriousness, that he’s already pondered what life would be like on a smaller stage. From the story:

“I did think the other day what it would be like to be a high school head coach or to be at a small school,” Kiffin said. “I thought about it the other day. The first time. I wonder if there’s something to that peace of mind. Maybe it’s something I can go back and do when I get older. I’m going to go coach high school.

“It’s just the game. It’s the game in its realest sense and it’s fun. Working with the kids and not all this other stuff. You go back and have fun.”

But Russo brings up a good point about Kiffin later in the piece: “When it comes to turmoil, Kiffin seems to either walk into it or create it. It’s a talent that has made him maybe the most vilified man in college football today.”

Kiffin knew what he signed up for when he took the job three years ago. He was already going to be under the Los Angeles media market microscope anyway, and with his, shall we say, “demeanor”, he’s going to get even more attention. I’m sure USC is still Kiffin’s dream job and anything he says about leaving the bright lights of L.A. is mostly jest, but those comments reveal some of the pressures of coaching at a big-time program.

The theme of Russo’s piece is that Kiffin and USC are hoping for a drama-free 2013. The only way that happens is if he wins.

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17 Responses to “Lane Kiffin tells AP he’s pondered coaching a smaller program or high school”
  1. mogogo1 says: May 13, 2013 1:56 PM

    I idolized my high school coach and learned a lot from him. Thus, I wouldn’t want Lane Kiffin within a hundred miles of my son’s high school team.

  2. noaxetogrind says: May 13, 2013 2:21 PM

    mogogo1, you said it all. Well said

  3. moose2k says: May 13, 2013 2:30 PM

    One more year like 2012 at USC and he’ll have an opportunity to coach high schoolers.

  4. cometkazie says: May 13, 2013 2:53 PM

    Get out the popcorn.

    This should be a good one.

  5. mauldawg says: May 13, 2013 4:39 PM

    What school would hire this person!! If you want a cheater go ahead and hire him. I would never want this person around any of my kids,football players or not.

  6. taylormade311 says: May 13, 2013 5:04 PM

    The High school coach is supposed to be your rock. The guy who prepares you for life post 18 when your “supposed” to become a man. Almost like a second father in some cases the only father figure in a kids life. Most good high school coaches are respected as men first then coaches. Lane has a long way to go to gain respect back.

  7. vincentbojackson says: May 13, 2013 5:30 PM

    Mid-major schools are looking for coaches on the rise, not over-rated ego-maniacs that have left their three previous programs in shambles.

  8. cometkazie says: May 13, 2013 5:32 PM

    Curly Hallman couldn’t make it as a high school coach, either.

  9. 11thstreetmafia says: May 13, 2013 5:51 PM

    As an ND fan, I couldn’t be more happy with Lane K. As head coach. I just wish they would win a few more games, though, so he sticks around for as long as possible!

  10. bamadawg1 says: May 13, 2013 6:03 PM

    That would probably be more up his alley. Although, I wonder if Vegas would take bets on how long it would take him to get his HS program in trouble for trying to recruit players or talking crap about all the other area high school coaches!

  11. troyafied says: May 14, 2013 12:53 AM

    You hold one of the top jobs in your profession, a job you certainly didn’t earn and one that you haven’t performed very well as of late. You have an interview with a national publication. Instead of using it as a forum to discuss the merits of your job, or how you are grateful to have it, or how it has set you up financially for life, you discuss your desire to hold the same job at a smaller organization because it would offer less stress.

    In doing so, you insult a) those who hold that job, by suggesting that its easy and all about “the love of the game” (as if the pay is as inconsequential to them as it would be to you); b) those at your own organization who have entrusted you to the leadership of their most important and visible program; and c) your constituents, by teasing them about your possible departure for other pastures (which they would love) but then sticking around until you are forced out.

    Welcome to Lane Kiffin’s bizarre world.

  12. benvincible says: May 14, 2013 8:42 AM

    What would it be like to coach a smaller team?

    How bout Tennesse?

  13. g8r8u2 says: May 14, 2013 10:35 AM

    Probably get his wish a lot sooner than he expects, and not by choice.

  14. irishdodger says: May 14, 2013 12:22 PM

    If there was an ever an example of someone in sports who was “born on 3rd base”…it’s Lane Kiffin. I’m so tired of hearing about the scholarship reductions & how it forces them to avoid full contact drills for fear of injury to starters. Dude, your school is being punished for wrongdoing. What about schools that lack depth for legitimate reasons? No one is crying for them.

  15. woebegong says: May 15, 2013 7:36 AM

    If he doesn’t turn around USC’s fortunes this year, he may get his wish for sure. I don’t think the administration will have much patience with him, if they lose like they did last year.
    Rightly or wrongly, the head coach get’s blamed for everything from injuries to players discretion’s and poor decisions off the field. He has a rich recruiting ground to recruit from, but he needs to show some results.

  16. gatorprof says: May 15, 2013 10:38 AM

    Where is all of the love and bravado from the Trojan faithful who were laughing at everyone when they stole Kiffy away from Tennessee?

    This guy has proven time and time again that he is a great recruiter, but an awful Xs and Os coach.

    He is like Ron Zook, only Zooker isn’t an a$$hole.

  17. lakesidegator says: May 20, 2013 5:03 PM

    College football, and its fans……………………………..
    ………..should be so lucky.

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