Lane Kiffin is back as a head coach for a Power 5 program, but it’s taken a while.
Kiffin was the head coach at USC from 2010-2013 before being fired midseason following a loss at Arizona State in which the Trojans allowed 42 second-half points and fell 62-41. Kiffin was literally called off the team bus and was fired on the tarmac at the airport following USC’s arrival back in Los Angeles.
Kiffin agreed to speak with Yahoo Sports’ Henry Bushnell for a piece about what it’s like when coaches are fired. During their interview, Kiffin rehashed the case he made to then-USC athletic director Pat Haden about why his firing was undeserved.
As he explained everything to Bushnell, Kiffin relived the situation and realized, “God, maybe I’m not over this.”
Kiffin’s position is understandable. He took over USC when they were under sanctions and had limited scholarships. They went 8-5 in his first year and 10-2 the following season, before slipping to 7-6 after that. Then he was fired after the ASU loss, which left USC 3-2 that season.
USC then named Ed Orgeron their interim head coach but replaced him with Steve Sarkisian, who was fired after dealing with alcohol issues. Orgeron has led LSU to the national championship game, while USC has Clay Helton as their head coach.
Would sticking with Kiffin have helped stabilize the program? Nobody knows, but we do know Kiffin still is bothered by the firing.
After three seasons at Florida Atlantic, Kiffin is getting ready for his first season at Ole Miss.
Ole Miss fans, the Lane Train is heading to Oxford! Jump aboard by buying the Lane Train shirt! It’s available in two colors: