Lane Kiffin goes back to USC: Don’t hate the playa, hate the game…
January 13, 2010
Lane Kiffin and I share a motto….once you get comfortable, you are about to lose everything and get fired. Stay one step ahead of the man and you will stay happy. That is what he did when he left Tennessee to go back to USC. Anyone who has a big boy or girl job knows that you have to climb the ladder to get what you want. If you have a respectable job, you are always thinking about how can you get into the next higher chair, until you become the shot caller. Right now, I am the assistant on the varsity, having worked my way from being the head coach on the JV. By next step is to become a head coach on the varsity level. While I am not looking to take my bosses job (because he is a good dude and we have fun and I learn from him) one day, I will run my own program. In debate, the same thing happened. I spent a lot of time being someones assistant coach, or the director of debate without the title of Director of Forensics, or Captain of the whole tamale. Finally, after some moving around, I got the whole thing.
Lane Kiffin is no different. Look at his job history
Now that is how you climb the ladder of success. He started as a lackey and all around go get it guy, since that is what most of the Graduate Assistants do. He was able to shine and get noticed, which led him to successfully climb the ladder and get to the top.
There are plenty of reasons to think that he made the right move.
1. He is back in Southern California. LA beats Knoxville, or any part of Tennessee any day of the week.
2. USC basically recruits itself. Plus, he brought his recruiting coordinator, Ed Orgeron with him, who was responsible for his good class at UT and had a big hand in the great USC classes of the beginning of the dynasty.
3. Dream job. Now you get to come back to a place where you started and you can show them that you are ready for the big time.
People are going to hate about his record with the Raiders (Al Davis is crazy, and you know we love our Raiders here at the blog, but he is impossible to deal with) and Tennessee (who was 7-6, but played with Johnathan Crompton, who really, really stunk the first 5 weeks of the season and they should have beaten Alabama if they had a decent kicker) but you can easily say that he didn’t have the tools necessary for the job. At USC, there will be none of those excuses. If they need something, then the boosters will pay to make it happen. You will not have to want for much once you get there.
For USC, it is like an episode of a show I sued to watch as a kid called Night Court.
The judge, played by Harry Anderson, only got the job because all the other people called for it were out having a good time on e Friday night, and he was the only one home. Lane is that guy in a way, since you know that they wanted Jack Del Rio, Jeff Fisher and Steve Sarkisian before they called Lane. But, Lane was the one who answered the phone and said YES. ESPN puts some of the reasons out there why Lane is a good choice.
Kiffin will bring his father and defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin, and assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron to Southern California with him.
Orgeron was with the Trojans for seven seasons before becoming the head coach at Mississippi and then an assistant with the New Orleans Saints.
Lane and Monte Kiffin and Orgeron will hold a news conference on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET in the Heritage Hall Varsity Lounge at USC.
Some USC players were excited about the hiring of Kiffin.
“It’s great news,” starting quarterback Matt Barkley told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Steve Mason. “I remember meeting Kiff way back on the recruiting trail when I was a freshman in high school. I liked him when I met him. I like that he knows how to live and breathe the Trojan way.”
Barkley, who was tapped by Carroll to start as a true freshman and helped lead the team to a 9-4 record and a victory in the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 26, also expressed relief that there will be stability in terms of offensive system.
“It’s comforting to know that not a lot is going to change,” Barkley said. “Kiff will have his own way of doing things, but I’m glad the offense isn’t going to be a whole lot different.”
Running back Marc Tyler is also on board.After only one season at Tennessee Lane Kiffin is headed to Southern California.
“This is really good,” he told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “Lane is great. He’s got a lot of energy. I talked to him and coach [Steve] Sarkisian all the time when I was coming in. This is really good.”
When told Orgeron was coming with Kiffin, he said, “Wow, Really? That’s awesome too.”
Garrett had been quiet about the hiring process until dropping this bombshell.
“Lane brings a lot to the table,” Garrett said. “He has a coaching background both in the pros and in the best collegiate conferences. He has a great command of the X’s and O’s. He is familiar with the Trojan landscape and will be a great representative of our university. He keeps the game fun. And, very importantly, he has proven to be one of the finest recruiters anywhere.”
The 34-year-old Kiffin is one of Carroll’s top disciples from his nine-year tenure at USC. Kiffin, a former Fresno State quarterback, worked his way up to offensive coordinator in 2005 while also showing impressive recruiting skills.
For two seasons, he shared responsibility for the Trojans’ offense with fellow longtime Carroll assistant Sarkisian, who left USC to take over at Washington after the 2008 season.
Although Kiffin’s forceful personality didn’t make him a beloved figure among players or administrators, he was a key part of the Trojans’ best years under Carroll, coordinating their passing game and providing instruction to quarterbacks Matt Leinart and John David Booty.
Like I say, it is better to be feared than loved, if you want a winner. Plus, his players love him and will go to the wall for him. He has success, and I think that unfortunately, for my CAL Bears, this is going to work and make our job tougher…