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Nick Saban ‘suprised’ by reaction to Lane Kiffin Bama visit

Lane Kiffin AP

Nick Saban told media on Tuesday that he’s “suprised” by the reaction people are having to Lane Kiffin’s recent visit with the Alabama offensive coaching staff, saying such a visit is a completely normal part of the professional development process.

“There’s only a few people out there that you have an opportunity to do it with,” Saban said Tuesday. “Lane is a really good offensive coach and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him.

“Just to come in and brainstorm a little bit, get some professional ideas with our guys, is a real positive thing, so I don’t know why there’s any reaction to it to be honest with you. I’m really quite surprised.”

Saban’s players were also surprised, but not in the same way their coach was. Like everyone else, they didn’t expect to see Kiffin — perhaps the worst head coach in recent college football history — hanging around a successful program like Alabama.

Alabama senior wide receiver Kevin Norwood said “everybody was shocked” when the offensive players arrived and saw Kiffin in the meeting room.

Kiffin was fired five games into his fourth season with USC. He was 28-15 in his short time with the Trojans.

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37 Responses to “Nick Saban ‘suprised’ by reaction to Lane Kiffin Bama visit”
  1. manik56 says: Dec 17, 2013 8:19 PM

    “perhaps the worst head coach in recent college football history” –huh?

    He went 28-15 as you noted. I think you are way over the top here. How did Paul Hackett do at USC? RichRod at Michigan? Mike Shula at Bama? Gerry DiNardo at LSU? Derek Dooley at Tennessee? Ty Willingham at Washington and Notre Dame? Or just about every other coach at Notre Dame before Brian Kelly and after Lou Holtz? Lots of head coaches have bad runs. That does not make them the “worst head coach in recent college football history.”

    Kiffin got fired. Why are you piling on?

  2. snccoach says: Dec 17, 2013 8:24 PM

    “Like everyone else, they didn’t expect to see Kiffin — perhaps the worst head coach in recent college football history — hanging around a successful program like Alabama.”

    I am NOT a Lane Kiffin fan whatsoever but that comment is absolutely ridiculous. You’re either trolling or don’t get out much.

  3. 10kmp says: Dec 17, 2013 8:24 PM

    “…Kiffin — perhaps the worst head coach in recent college football history…”

    Listen, I cannot stand Lane Kiffin. Cannot STAND HIM… but he is far from the worst head coach in recent college football history. I mean, c’mon. The guy recruits very well, and while he certainly isn’t great (or even good) he is not even remotely what you claim. That’s just stupid. Here are some worse coaches: Charlie Weis, Ty Willingham, Bob Davie, Rick Neuheisel, Will Muschamp, Randy Shannon, and on and on and… Good Lord, Iowa pays Kirk Ferentz 4 mil a year to recruit half as well as Kiffin and win about as much.

  4. be4bama says: Dec 17, 2013 8:25 PM

    Lane was simply brushing up his resume.

  5. wabbitslayer says: Dec 17, 2013 8:30 PM

    Savan is probably thinking about bringing in Kiffin to provide some excitement in the program and give a huge boost to recruiting.

    But enough about Layla, where is Lane going to find a job?

  6. vikingapologist says: Dec 17, 2013 8:55 PM

    U guys said what I was thinking already! The media just loves piling it on these guys! Much like Shanahan in Washington. It’s like a morbid obsession with the media to try fuel hatred! Appalling IMO

  7. Deb says: Dec 17, 2013 9:04 PM

    I’ve heard Saban is extremely myopic, and this is further proof. The guy just focuses on football–meaning recruiting and Xs/Os–24/7. So he misses all the mini dramas, such as Kiffin’s personality clashes with other coaches and the general disregard in which he’s held by fans and the media. Saban just knows him to have a pretty good offensive mind–and he does. Thus, he’s surprised people don’t get why he’d bring in a pretty good offensive mind to bounce around ideas about his offense.

    Kind of funny …

  8. wvugrad00 says: Dec 17, 2013 9:10 PM

    I would take Lane over Charlie Weis so I am not so sure about your comment about “perhaps the worst head coach in recent college football history”.

    Lane was hampered by the NCAA sanctions, Weis simply had his arrogance holding him back.

  9. ahugusf says: Dec 17, 2013 9:24 PM

    Great managers get outside perspective all the time in the office world. I think it’s great way to scout yourself. Who knows, maybe saban not impressed with Nussy or just hedging that Nussy may leave

  10. thinkingboutit says: Dec 17, 2013 9:29 PM

    Maybe it is was just a stupid move on Saban’s part.
    Maybe all you softies are just to bold to say it.
    Nick….nick….you REALLY want me to believe you thought everyone would be cool with it…Really? Nick??

  11. zebra1020 says: Dec 17, 2013 9:38 PM

    Although the “worst coach” comment was exceptionally silly, you guys aren’t that far behind with most of your worst coach comparators. The real worst coaches are no-name guys who consistently lose at low profile schools with low expectations. Most of those high profile jobs go to coaches who have had sustained success as head coaches at other schools, like Willingham had at Stanford and Neuheisel had at Colorado and Washington. The perceptions of Kiffin and Dooley are worse because fans feel they got big jobs based in part on their dad’s reputations, but their biggest crimes were being mediocre coaches at schools that expect excellence or close to it. There’s a big difference between being mediocre or average and being the worst.Think about it.

  12. dantheman3323 says: Dec 17, 2013 10:10 PM

    You guys are idiots. He is not the worst football coach at all. Any of you sec fans would love to have him. Just like you dumb Tennessee fans cried and lit up mattresses when he left. You would welcome him in a heart beat. I don’t think he’ll be a head coach anytime soon. Cause idiot writers like yourself keep bashing him. But he definitely can be a good OC and recruit the shit out of any top program to say the least.

  13. auburntigers34 says: Dec 17, 2013 10:27 PM

    Have you seen a list of HCs in the SEC? Other than Stoops at KY and maybe Mullen at MSU, there isn’t a school in the conference that would want/need Lane Kiffin on their staff.

  14. be4bama says: Dec 17, 2013 10:32 PM

    Dantheman is your real name Monte?

  15. boomgrounder says: Dec 17, 2013 10:41 PM

    Saban and Kiffin share one major personality trait. They are both complete A–holes!

  16. dantheman3323 says: Dec 17, 2013 11:08 PM

    Be4bama – not at all. But get used to seeing kiffin at your campus. Saban is smart for bringing him. He knows your OC is out the door soon. This is just a PR move on his part to see what reaction people get when kiffin becomes your next OC. Then you’ll understand why he gets hired with the nest top schools.

  17. tttrojan4life says: Dec 17, 2013 11:30 PM

    “How dare you call Lane Kiffin the worst college coach. That honor belongs to me!”

    -John L. Smith

  18. eagles512 says: Dec 17, 2013 11:42 PM

    Not a fan of his but calling him the worst coach in recent history has to be a way it get comments and get noticed.

  19. vincentbojackson says: Dec 17, 2013 11:46 PM

    Most successful coach in the last decade seeks ideas from worst coach of last decade.

    Move along, nothing to see here.

  20. mediocrebob says: Dec 17, 2013 11:53 PM

    I can’t stand the guy. But Kiffin wasn’t that bad. Maybe he didn’t fulfill expectations but hardly worst coach.

    If there was a way to actually figure this out, I’d have to say that Ty Willingham is the worst coach in the last 20 years. Weis may not be a head coach, but the dude knows his stuff. Pats haven’t won it without him. But Tyrone… Bad.

  21. cheapseats87 says: Dec 17, 2013 11:58 PM

    Saban isn’t fooling anybody. We all know he brought Kiffin in to see what cookies he should take away from the O line.

  22. apkyletexas says: Dec 18, 2013 1:36 AM

    wabbitslayer says:
    Dec 17, 2013 8:30 PM
    Savan is probably thinking about bringing in Kiffin to provide some excitement in the program and give a huge boost to recruiting.

    But enough about Layla, where is Lane going to find a job?


    I had no idea how hot his wife was until you posted that.

    Goodness gracious! The dude certainly has an eye for talent.

  23. asimonetti88 says: Dec 18, 2013 2:06 AM

    “perhaps the worst head coach in recent college football history”

    Geez, hyperbole much? I wish he had done a better job at SC, but the guy is a mediocre coach. Which is a far step from “worst head coach in recent college football history”.

  24. henryjones20 says: Dec 18, 2013 5:00 AM

    chris houston sir, you should get fired for that dumb comment! my lord.

  25. 24pointlead says: Dec 18, 2013 8:35 AM

    In further news. Saban shocked that the sky is blue, the grass is green. C’mon, perception is reality. I don’t think Kiffin is a bad coach at all, but his rep stinks.

  26. tgaustin says: Dec 18, 2013 9:40 AM

    You know what’s great about this story? The fact that Alabama fan jokingly threw out Kiffin’s name for the Longhorn job…yet, when Saban brings him in they now are defending his rep!

  27. be4bama says: Dec 18, 2013 9:53 AM

    Tgaustin’s, I have seen any BAMA fans defending LK’s rep. Who are you talking about?

  28. beastmode5150 says: Dec 18, 2013 9:57 AM

    Saban thinking lane is a good offensive coach shows signs of early dementia. Bama fans Should worry.

  29. wadaea says: Dec 18, 2013 10:28 AM

    I think the bad comments are just a reflection of the lack of respect we all for lame kiffin.It has to effect the team morale. But for saban to be clueless that it would cause a reaction is about as stupid as asking a freshman to try a forth field goal for 60+ yards after his senior kicker missed three. HEY SABAN >>GOT A SECOND

  30. mogogo1 says: Dec 18, 2013 11:42 AM

    Kiffin’s overall record says basically nothing about his coaching ability. His preseason #1 team went 7-6. Hard to imagine many coaches doing worse than that.

    NCAA problems? Check. Poor sportmanship like the air being let out of the footballs and not letting teams do walkthroughs? Check. Firing his own dad to deflect blame from himself? Check. Lousy coach and an even worse human being.

  31. imaduffer says: Dec 18, 2013 11:47 AM

    Maybe he’ll bring in Lane’s dad to help with the defense.

  32. linedrivehit says: Dec 18, 2013 11:52 AM

    Anyone stop to think that maybe Saban (he of the four BCS National Championships) might know a little more about what he is doing and wanting to accomplish than all the arm chair quarterbacks out here? I dont think I am smart enough to question his methods. Just sayin…

  33. soundsofsuccess7 says: Dec 18, 2013 11:58 AM

    “worst head coach in recent college football history”

    Lane went 11-1 and finished #5 in the nation his second year as SC’s coach. Please.

  34. wingsdjy says: Dec 18, 2013 12:27 PM


    10-2, and many believe that was because of his dad’s talent.

  35. allend406 says: Dec 18, 2013 2:42 PM

    Remember when people expected lane kifin and USC to break the SEC dominence of the title games that was a long time ago.

  36. thermanmerman99 says: Dec 18, 2013 3:44 PM

    has lane kiffin ever lost to UAB and Louisiana-Monroe at home? any coach that loses home games to garbage teams like that is a joke.

  37. gborange says: Dec 18, 2013 7:27 PM

    As if us Tennessee fans needed anymore reasons to hate Bama! Joking…… He brought us one .500 season and left us under the ncaa microscope for shady recruiting. Glad it worked out the way it did.

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