When it comes to offseason and even preseason fodder, one of myriad subjects that garners sizable interest is which coaches will or won’t be on the proverbial coaching hot seat entering a season.
In 2013, at or near the top of the list of coaches whose seat is seemingly feeling some heat is USC’s Lane Kiffin.
Loathed on Rocky Top specifically and the United States in general, Kiffin came under fire last year following an abysmal 2012 campaign. Entering the season as the preseason No. 1 in many pollster’s minds, the Trojans bumbled and stumbled their way to a 7-6 season that was punctuated by an embarrassing and uninterested performance in — and after — a Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech.
The six-loss season was the Trojans’ worst since 2001, and set Kiffin on the hot seat in the minds of most. Well, all but the one person whose opinion matters the most.
“I anticipate the media will ask me if our football coach is on the hot seat this year.,” USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a video posted online Thursday. “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.”
Haden’s views on his football coach aren’t exactly new as, back in January, the AD was quoted as saying that “there’s no reason that Lane Kiffin shouldn’t be our coach” and that any problems in the program “all can be fixed” by the coach.
You can view the complete video below and judge for yourself just how hot Kiffin’s seat may or may not be, especially if 2013 is remotely close to what went down in 2012: