That certainly didn’t take long. At all.
Friday, reports emerged that, barring the unexpected, Lane Kiffin would be the next head football coach at Ole Miss. Saturday afternoon, less than an hour after Florida Atlantic claimed another Conference USA championship, Ole Miss confirmed that, yes, the Lane Train is rolling into Oxford.
Kiffin will officially be introduced at a 2 p.m. ET press conference Monday.
“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Coach Kiffin to the Ole Miss family,” athletic director Keith Carter said. “As we entered this process, we were looking for energy, innovativeness and a program builder who could excite our student-athletes and fans. Coach Kiffin checked every box and is a home run for our program. I look forward to locking arms with him to take Ole Miss Football to a championship level.”
The 44-year-old Kiffin — yes, he’s still just 44 — has spent two separate stints in the SEC. The first was a blink-and-you-missed-it year as the head coach at Tennessee. From 2014-16, Kiffin was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Alabama.
The hiring means that Kiffin will square off against Nick Saban at least once a season as well.
“I am truly honored and humbled to join the Ole Miss family, and recognize this as a special opportunity to lead Rebel Football into the future,” Kiffin said. “I am especially grateful to Keith Carter, Chancellor Boyce and the entire Ole Miss family for their trust and confidence. Our staff and I will work tirelessly to recruit and develop successful players for this program, and I look forward to producing many exciting memories to add to Ole Miss’ storied football legacy. I am excited to get to Oxford and begin the groundwork of building a championship program that Mississippi’s flagship university deserves, and I’m thrilled to be back in the greatest athletics conference in the nation. Hotty Toddy!”
Named the head coach at FAU in December of 2016, Kiffin has since led the Owls to a 25-13 record. The win Saturday over UAB gave FAU two conference championships in three seasons as the Owls won the title in Kiffin’s first season.
Kiffin will not remain with the Owls through their bowl game this season. Instead, the school confirmed that defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer will serve as interim head coach until a successor is named.
“Coach Kiffin deserves our thanks and a great deal of credit for continuing to build our football program to high levels of success,” a statement from athletic director Brian White began.
“A national search will begin immediately. I know there will be a great deal of interest in the position. We have an extremely talented roster returning with an established culture of success. There are outstanding facilities here with the new Schmidt Family Complex about to open and recent renovations to FAU Stadium. I couldn’t be more excited about the future of our football program.”