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Lane Kiffin is announced as the next Alabama offensive coordinator

lane_kiffin1Lane Kiffin was announced as the next offensive coordinator for the University of Alabama today.  Head coach Nick Saban made the announcement shortly after 4 PM (CT) “We are excited to have Lane join our staff,” said Saban. “He is an outstanding and creative offensive coach who has great experience both at the college and NFL level. He has a very good understanding of the game and I have always been impressed with what I saw in the games he called. He coaches with a great deal of passion and enthusiasm, and also does an excellent job as a teacher. Lane will be an outstanding addition to our coaching staff and we look forward to him and his family joining us at the University of Alabama.”

The last, and only, time Kiffin was inside Bryant Denny he stood across the field from Coach Saban as the head coach of rival Tennessee. Kiffin’s Volunteers nearly shattered what went on to be Nick Saban’s second national championship and his first at Alabama.  The famous “Rocky Block” saved the season for the Tide. At the end of the regular season in 2009, Alabama went to the Rose Bowl for the BCS Title game while Kiffin also traveled to California but not to watch the Tide play, he was there to take over the USC Trojan as head coach.

Kiffin spent three and a half seasons as the head coach at Southern California where he went 28-15. His 2011 USC offense produced a 3,500-yard passer, a pair of 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher. In his first two seasons, the Trojan offense made significant increases in their offense statistics going from 26.5 points per game and 389.1 yards to 31 points for 431.5 yards in 2011 and 35.8 points for 456.8 yards in 2012.  Kiffin’s last year and a half at USC did not go as well as planed however, the Trojan defense was lacking causing Kiffin to be let go mid way through the season.

Kiffin spent six years as an assistant coach for Pete Carroll at Southern California, including two years as the offensive coordinator (2005-06). In 2004 he worked with Matt Leinart and the passing game for the Trojans helping him to earn the Heisman trophy while he passed for 3322 yars and 33 TD’s.  While he was the offensive coordinator for the Trojans Kiffin’s offense averaged 49.1 points per game and 579.8 yards per game.  That is a average over the two year span by the way, not just for one year.

It only took Nick Saban one interview to find his replacement for departing Doug Nussmeier.  Kiffin was in Tuscaloosa in December for a week to “observe” the Crimson Tide.  This is not unusual for Alabama, or any program for that matter to have visiting coaches, but the timing was what made his visit so strange to everyone.  Once the announcement was made that Nussmeier was leaving for Big-10 country (Michigan), Kiffin was in Tuscaloosa the next day to interview with Saban. Apparently, what transpired in December, the interview process and Kiffin’s resume as a high powered offensive minded coach and solid recruiter was all it took for Saban to pull the trigger on the former head coach.  “We want to thank the University of Alabama and Coach Saban for this tremendous opportunity, and we feel humbled and honored to be a part of the Crimson Tide family,” said Kiffin. “I’ve always had the utmost respect for what Coach Saban has done with his programs. Having the unique opportunity to be here last month, I was able to meet some of the great players and the great people in the organization, and I’m very excited to start working with them. We’ve seen the passion and support of the Alabama fans firsthand, and when that’s combined with the storied history and tradition of the program, this is a very special place to coach.”

Kiffin and his wife, Layla, have two daughters (Landry and Presley) and one son (Knox).

 

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