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USC fires Lane Kiffin

USC v Arizona State Getty Images

USC head coach Lane Kiffin has been fired, the school announced.

Haden informed Kiffin of his termination upon the team charter’s arrival back in Los Angeles early Sunday morning following USC’s 62-41 loss at Arizona State. The 62 points was tied for the most points ever given up by a USC team.

But the ASU result was just the last straw in a checkered tenure for the young coach.  His Trojans have lost seven of their past 11 games and USC is 3-2 this year with both losses coming in Pac-12 games.  His overall record in 4 years at USC is 28-15.

Haden will hold a press conference at USC on Sunday afternoon at a time and place to be announced. He will most likely name current defensive line coach Ed Orgeron as the interim head man. Orgeron has previous head coaching experience from his time at Ole Miss (2005-2007).

For the permanent hire, the Trojans are unlikely to turn to current NFL coaches with USC ties like Jeff Fisher or Jack Del Rio. Nor will they go with someone from the Pete Carroll coaching tree like Steve Sarkisian. Instead, look for USC to go tap a national name without school connections, a coach who is regarded as an innovator with a proven college resume. It could potentially be the schools’ first hire of a national coaching name without USC ties since Howard Jones was lured from Iowa in 1925.

Surprised that Haden pulled the plug on Kiffin five games into the season? Don’t be. He also got rid of Kevin O’Neill, USC’s previous men’s basketball coach, midway through his final season. The timing makes good sense. After all, Haden can now get an early start at sending out back-channel communications with potential coaches. USC’s recruiting efforts — currently frozen because of uncertainty over Kiffin’s status – can potentially be salvaged. And the current Trojan seniors, as well as the fan base, can finish out the season absent a cloud hanging overhead.

The next coach will inherit a roster loaded with talent, albeit somewhat diminished by NCAA sanctions. But that coach will only have to go through one more year of scholarship losses before the program returns to normalcy.

As for Kiffin, he’ll probably land somewhere in the NFL as a position coach.

College football won’t miss him.

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50 Responses to “USC fires Lane Kiffin”
  1. tg1896 says: Sep 29, 2013 8:53 AM

    It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving coach.

  2. dhardy8207 says: Sep 29, 2013 8:53 AM

    Wow!….Now I didn’t expect that this quickly…thought they would have given Kiffen the rest of the season….

  3. bucrightoff says: Sep 29, 2013 8:54 AM

    I hear McDonalds is hiring Lane, finally a job you’re qualified for (maybe).

  4. mauldawg says: Sep 29, 2013 8:57 AM

    Best news I have heard in a long time. However this piece of crap will land on his feet somewhere else. Some school will give him millions so he can drag them down as he does all teams he coaches. Once a cheater always a cheater.

  5. mediacowards says: Sep 29, 2013 9:00 AM

    USC is finding it tough to win when they aren’t illegally paying their players…

  6. ezwriter69 says: Sep 29, 2013 9:02 AM

    When a team quits on its coach the way USC did on Kiffin last year, it’s flat out stupid to bring him back for another year… once you lose them, you never get them back.
    Wasted year, Pat Haden, and that’s on YOU, not Kiffin… just stupid to bring Kiffin back this year, STUPID.

  7. tampabayirish says: Sep 29, 2013 9:04 AM

    A bit of a surprise that he was fired 5 games into the season with a 3-2 record, two games into the conference schedule. Kiffin was a “dead man walking” at year end. Good Luck to USC in getting a quality coach. They’re not even the top program in their own city anymore. Don’t feel too bad for Kiffin. He may have made a lot of enemies (especially in Tennessee) but he also made a lot of money and he has a trophy wife to go home to.

  8. 700levelvet says: Sep 29, 2013 9:05 AM

    Add this to one of life’s mysteries…Why did they hire him in the first place?

  9. jimr10 says: Sep 29, 2013 9:11 AM

    Tennessee fans say what goes around comes around.

  10. gorilladunk says: Sep 29, 2013 9:17 AM

    Why did this article and headline appear on “Pro Football Talk ” long before it showed up here?

  11. cometkazie says: Sep 29, 2013 9:18 AM

    Isn’t college football fun?

  12. cubb1 says: Sep 29, 2013 9:28 AM

    Worst coach EVER.

  13. mrsmell says: Sep 29, 2013 9:34 AM

    5 games too long. Should have been fired the day after they lost of GT in their bowl game (one of the worst D in the nation last year).

  14. uscatjerseyshore says: Sep 29, 2013 9:36 AM

    With Kiffin’s termination as head coach what I won’t miss is all the revisionist comments from Volunteer fans about someone who was a coach at their school for a single year and left for a better situation nearly four years ago. Recall that when Kiffin left Knoxville to come to USC there were no celebrations but near riots over the feeling of being betrayed. Over the next few days if the Tennessee fan base monitors the SC fan reaction they’ll see what a fan base does when they aren’t unhappy that a coach has been replaced. And three to four years from now we won’t be seeing USC fans feeling betrayed that Kiffin was fired.

  15. latchbeam says: Sep 29, 2013 9:37 AM

    @gorilladunk Florio and Smith wake up earlier.

  16. pgilbert2013 says: Sep 29, 2013 9:44 AM

    Team, I would like to introduce you to your new head coach Lane Kiffin.

    Thank you very much Principal Smith. Okay Cow Pokes we are going to be the best Pop Warner team in Dallas.

  17. drewsylvania says: Sep 29, 2013 9:54 AM

    LOL. Well deserved.

  18. florida727 says: Sep 29, 2013 9:56 AM

    Hate to see anyone lose their job (yeah, even this clown) in today’s world, but seriously, what qualified him to be a head coach in the first place other than being his dad’s kid?

    All hating aside, because face it, it’s easy NOT to like a program like USC, or Notre Dame, or Florida, or Alabama, etc., but this is a “plum” job. They’re going to get a good coach, unless they rush to get someone in there. Take your time, interview a bunch of candidates, and watch, they’ll end up with a guy with a proven record of success that’ll turn them around. Good luck, Trojan fans. Tolerate this year. Going forward you’ll be a program to be reckoned with. Just like Texas will again. Sports is cyclical.

  19. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 29, 2013 10:13 AM

    USC Board of Regent reaching out to Saban right now I bet….. lol

  20. waynefontes says: Sep 29, 2013 10:18 AM

    uscatjerseyshore says:
    Sep 29, 2013 9:36 AM
    With Kiffin’s termination as head coach what I won’t miss is all the revisionist comments from Volunteer fans about someone who was a coach at their school for a single year and left for a better situation nearly four years ago. Recall that when Kiffin left Knoxville to come to USC there were no celebrations but near riots over the feeling of being betrayed. Over the next few days if the Tennessee fan base monitors the SC fan reaction they’ll see what a fan base does when they aren’t unhappy that a coach has been replaced. And three to four years from now we won’t be seeing USC fans feeling betrayed that Kiffin was fired.

    ————————————————–

    Never understood why Vol fans were angry that he left or why USC fans were so happy that he went there (Papabush88 is still MIA – he loved the Kiffin hire). Both universities deserve better.

    Your program has done NOTHING in the last 30 years other than get a coach in Pete Carroll. USC in the first half of the ’00s was among the best runs of all time, but USC was mediocre in the 90s and is mediocre now.

    Not even the best school in their own city, much less state, division or conference.

    Instead of worrying about the reaction of others, maybe you should wonder why a great program with great tradition and resources has been terrible the last 30 years other than with a coach who wasn’t your first or second choice.

    Fight on!

  21. jimbo75025 says: Sep 29, 2013 10:22 AM

    @uscatjerseyshore

    As a Tennessee fan, I could care less that Kiffin left, it was the way he left that had people up in arms. The man simply sold a bag of magic beans to a pathetic UT AD (and also to a USC AD) to get hired in the first place. I would begin worrying about NCAA issues from Kiffin starting to show up at the doorstep of USC if I were you.

  22. dcroz says: Sep 29, 2013 10:23 AM

    So how long until the “Saban to USC” rumors get going? Though to be honest, I’d believe that more than I do the “Saban to Texas” fantasy.

    Speaking of rumors, word is that Kiffin is now at the top of the list for anticipated openings of the head coaching job at Texas, Nebraska, and the Dallas Cowboys, as well as becoming the new NFL commissioner and NCAA president. You know, just because.

  23. ironman721 says: Sep 29, 2013 10:25 AM

    Hahaha!

  24. omniusprime says: Sep 29, 2013 10:29 AM

    It needed to be done to bring in a better coach. Kiffin never really had much of a chance following Pete Carroll and being saddled with unfair NCAA sanctions. I sure hope that Pat Haden picks a good coach this time, one who will bring USC back to national championship glory soonest.

  25. normtide says: Sep 29, 2013 10:37 AM

    Didn’t expect this till year end, but probably the right move. Best of luck to USC in finding a coach.

  26. fearthehoody says: Sep 29, 2013 10:38 AM

    UCLA fans will miss you Lame! You’ve done more for our program than you’ll ever know. Hire Lame at Oregon????

  27. dcroz says: Sep 29, 2013 10:53 AM

    This sets up for what could be an interesting coaching carousel at the end of the year, with the potential for at least three jobs at elite programs being open. USC is the first, most people will be shocked if Texas doesn’t get rid of Mack Brown by the end of the season, and the seat is growing hotter by the week for Bo Pelini at Nebraska. And if any coaches at other big-time programs take one or more of these jobs, then the scramble will be on at those places, too. This could be about as interesting a postseason on the coaching front as we’ve seen in a while.

  28. djlexluger says: Sep 29, 2013 10:56 AM

    Who’s your sources on the next hire because all the reports I here is Del Rio is next up.

  29. delashmit says: Sep 29, 2013 11:03 AM

    Lame Kiffin got fired. I am so sorry about that. NOT

  30. cometkazie says: Sep 29, 2013 11:19 AM

    waynefontes says:
    Sep 29, 2013 10:18 AM
    Never understood why Vol fans were angry that he left or why USC fans were so happy that he went there (Papabush88 is still MIA – he loved the Kiffin hire). Both universities deserve better.
    +-+-+

    Papabush88, the LogicalVoice for CollegeFootballTalk.

    Does anyone miss him/her/it?

  31. mediocrebob says: Sep 29, 2013 11:22 AM

    Couldn’t have happened to a better guy. LK can eat shit.

  32. red sky at night says: Sep 29, 2013 11:23 AM

    waynefontes

    I’m sensing you’re a Bruin fan.

  33. Anoesis says: Sep 29, 2013 11:27 AM

    9/29, 3:18am. Anoesis posted on another thread-

    “The only hope left in this season is that Pat Haden will bite the bullet and pull the plug on the failed Lane Kiffin era. Giving up 62 points (6 TDs in the second half?!) is simply inexcusable. From 10-2 two years ago to the laughing stock of the conference.

    “It isn’t going to turn around or even get any better, Pat. Might as well can Kiffin now instead of waiting for the end of the year. Please do it. It couldn’t be any worse than if there was no head coach at all.”

    Apparently Pat Haden and other USC administrators got together during the 3rd quarter of the disaster in the desert and decided now really is the time to part ways with Kiffin. They pulled him off the team bus at LAX to give him the news and had the bus go back to the campus without him.

    The sources I’ve seen claim Jack Del Rio is the front-runner to replace Kiffin. Since I got my wish (that never happens!) I’m now going to have to shut up and let Haden do his job.

    Whoever gets the nod needs to make the transition as smooth as possible. Keeping the current assistants would be a good start, as there’s always the off-season to make any wholesale changes.

    While I don’t have much, if any, hope for the remainder of this season, at least the after-Kiffin-era can now start sooner rather than later.

  34. northvirgina says: Sep 29, 2013 11:29 AM

    I personally am going to enjoy Kiffin’s termination at USC. He’s a man with too few morals and principles which do matter when it comes to team’s motivation and discipline.

    NCAA ball would be better if he were not picked up as a head coach.

    Good luck USC fans on rebuilding the program – hope it goes easier for you than at Tennessee.

  35. MyTeamsAllStink says: Sep 29, 2013 11:54 AM

    Al Davis knew what we all now know about 5 years ago..

  36. alligatorsnapper says: Sep 29, 2013 11:59 AM

    In the imitable words of the sage Phil Robertson:

    “Happy, happy, happy!”

  37. 80wise says: Sep 29, 2013 12:11 PM

    MyTeamsAllStink says: Sep 29, 2013 11:54 AM

    Al Davis knew what we all now know about 5 years ago..

    You know, I remember his comment when he left Oakland. I never much cared for Al Davis, but he was bang-on about his assessment of Kiffin.

    I also agree that the transition must go smoothly. Kiffin did assemble a pretty good staff for this season and his player talent pool overall is better than average. Bottom line is after last season, Kiffin lost any credibility he had left. My biggest surprise is not that he got fired now, but that Haden brought him back for the 2013 season. I would have fired his ass after the bowl game and left him in the desert. The players and assistants will step up next week and play better only because they now know that they’re not being lead my an incompetent clown.

  38. realfootballfan says: Sep 29, 2013 12:59 PM

    So it finally mercifully ends. Like Al Davis said in the famous overhead projector firing, “I made a mistake hiring him.” Too bad it took USC years to realize what he did pretty quickly.

  39. Deb says: Sep 29, 2013 1:42 PM

    Whoa! Glad I decided to interrupt today’s games with a whip around the blogs! Little Lanie Kiffin’s been kicked to the curb. About time. You’re a good man, Pat Haden. Good luck rebuilding a storied program!

  40. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 29, 2013 1:46 PM

    Al Golden

  41. earpaniac says: Sep 29, 2013 1:52 PM

    And he’ll go home to his mansion, millions of dollars, and hot wife. Can’t be all bad to be Lane Kiffen.

  42. irishdodger says: Sep 29, 2013 2:18 PM

    Every team w/ sanctions needs a buffer coach to get them through the low times. Clemson had Ken Hatfield, Bama had Mike Shula, OU had Gary Gibbs and now SC has/had Lane Kiffen. They’ll be back.

  43. blackdonnelly says: Sep 29, 2013 2:56 PM

    And somewheres out there Al Davis is busting a gut from laughing so hard.

    Next up on the Davis list: Mike Shanahan.

  44. tbone71 says: Sep 29, 2013 3:55 PM

    Dangit. Now how are my Irish supposed to beat USC after this year?

  45. sportsguy3434 says: Sep 29, 2013 5:32 PM

    Hatfield was a good coach for Arkansas, but Gibbs and Shula are joined by Kiffin in the HC bone yard. Bye bye Kiffie. Don’t know how you got the USC job but your run is over now.

  46. beanocook says: Sep 29, 2013 7:28 PM

    Another exNFL HC eaten alive in college football. Go back to the NFL you scrub Kiffin like your pops.

  47. scbaby2013 says: Sep 29, 2013 8:25 PM

    @ mediacowards USC never paid Reggie bush. Please get your facts straight. Bush took $ from and agent and his family got a home 2hrs away from LA. Hope new coach does a better job at USC. Fight on!!!

  48. mogogo1 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:20 AM

    blackdonnelly says:
    Sep 29, 2013 2:56 PM
    And somewheres out there Al Davis is busting a gut from laughing so hard.

    Next up on the Davis list: Mike Shanahan.

    _____________

    Dude, let’s not get crazy. The two Super Bowl rings will do a lot to cushion the blow for Mike. Al was dead-on with Kiffin but missed badly with Shanahan.

  49. haardcase says: Sep 30, 2013 10:41 AM

    Cue up the Chris Peterson merry-go-round.

  50. julian456 says: Nov 13, 2013 1:15 PM

    The underlying element here is Pete Carroll had an achilles heel that of being too nice and by being nice he didn’t establish boundaries with his players about commingling with questionable characters dealing with his players. Beyond that hiring a friends son like Lane who was in charge of the defense that lost that National Championship with Texas. In spite of that continually recommending Lane as a good coach with a lot of potential when the opposite was true. Some coaches are self contained others need a complementary partner that was the case with Pete have someone who handled the boundaries part of the program and let Pete lead and coach which if that formula was in place would have been a continual rival of Nick Saban but because that wasn’t in place by default Nick had no competition.

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