Report: Lane Kiffin trying to hire coaches away from Nick Saban, get revenge
Anyone who follows Lane Kiffin on Twitter could tell you that the coach holds a grudge against Nick Saban because of the way Saban parted ways with him at Alabama, and that is one of the many reasons Kiffin being hired as the head coach at Ole Miss will make for some outstanding storylines. It was also apparently a driving force behind Kiffin wanting the job.
Aaron Suttles of The Athletic reports that multiple people with knowledge of Kiffin’s thinking told him Kiffin is looking to exact revenge on Saban, and one of the ways he is trying to do that is by poaching members of Saban’s staff. Kiffin is said to be looking to build out his Ole Miss staff with as many current, former and potential Alabama coaches as possible, and he has already extended some offers.
According to Suttles, Kiffin has tried to entice Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran to join him in Oxford by offering him an on-the-field coaching position. Cochran is a big part of recruiting at Alabama, and he has been on Saban’s staff for all six of his national championships, including when he worked under the head coach at LSU.
Kiffin has also reportedly expressed interest in Alabama defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi, secondary coach Karl Scott, and former defensive line coach Bo Davis, who stepped down from his position with the Tide more than three years ago amid allegations of recruiting violations.
Some have wondered why Kiffin would take a job in the SEC rather than joining a Power Five conference where he might have an easier time winning, but it’s really no surprise that he’s motivated to take down Saban. Kiffin has praised Saban publicly, but he also never passes up an opportunity to take a shot at him on social media. Saban basically fired Kiffin as his offensive coordinator days before the national title game three years ago, though it was framed like Kiffin was leaving to focus on his new job as the head coach at FAU.
Ironically, Saban spoke in an HBO special that aired this week about how much it bothers him when coaches who worked under him try to poach members of his staff. Don’t expect that to deter Kiffin at all.
Ole Miss fans, the Lane Train is heading to Oxford! Jump aboard by buying the Lane Train shirt! It’s available in two colors: