Tennessee Volunteers‘ Lane Kiffin has agreed to become the next head coach of the USC Trojans, multiple sources told ESPN‘s Chris Low Tuesday night. Kiffin, whose sole season with Tennessee was shrouded in controversy both on and off the field, will bring his father Monte Kiffin along as defensive coordinator. Ed Orgeron is expected to follow and continue his role under Kiffin as assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator, and Norm Chow plans to return to the program as offensive coordinator.
“We are really excited to welcome Lane Kiffin back to USC,” Trojans athletic director Mike Garrett said. “I was able to watch him closely when he was an assistant with us and what I saw was a bright, creative young coach who I thought would make an excellent head coach here if the opportunity ever arose. I’m confident he and his staff will keep USC football performing at the high level that we expect. Lane brings a lot to the table. 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.”
An assistant with USC from 2001-06, Kiffin left to become head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2007. He spent just over one season in Oakland, going 5-15 before being fired by owner Al Davis in September 2008. His sole season with the Volunteers ended with a 7-6 record and 37-14 loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Peach Bowl.
Kiffin made it a point to become public enemy No. 1 for the Florida Gators and their fans after he claimed his team would be singing “Rocky Top all night long” after defeating UF in The Swamp. He furthered his villainous stature by not only insulting head coach Urban Meyer but also falsely accusing him of recruiting violations after nabbing wide receiver Nu’Keese Richardson away from the Gators.
Ironically, Kiffin and his staff incurred six minor recruiting violations over the last year, and Richardson was dismissed from the team after committing armed robbery outside of a gas station in Knoxville, TN. Florida would go on to defeat Tennessee 23-13, leaving Meyer undefeated against Kiffin in Southeastern Conference play.