Monte Kiffin: Defensive Coordinator's Resignation Is Best Move for USC

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2012

Monte Kiffin's decision to resign as defensive coordinator of USC was the perfect choice for everyone involved.

The father of head coach Lane Kiffin was under fire for a disappointing season on the defensive side of the football. 

During the course of the year, the squad allowed 38 points in a loss to UCLA, 39 points in a loss to Arizona, and a whopping 62 points in an embarrassment at home against Oregon.

It was likely that his time with the program was coming to an end whether he wanted it to or not. However, he decided to leave USC in order to "pursue opportunities in the NFL," according to Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times .

The senior Kiffin earned a reputation as one of the best defensive minds in the league after innovating the Tampa 2 defense. He spent about 25 years in the NFL, most notably as the defensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In 2003, he helped the Bucs win Super Bowl XXXVII under coach Jon Gruden.

He then followed his son to the college ranks at Tennessee and eventually to USC. Unfortunately, it was apparent that these NFL strategies would not work in the Pac-12. The spread offenses were simply too much for his schemes.

On the other hand, his reputation and resume should allow him to land a job with an NFL team with ease. 

Also, by resigning, the 72-year-old defensive coach saves his son from having to publicly fire his own father.

While many in the USC fanbase want to see Lane leave town as well, he should be given another chance to turn this team around.

It is easy to forget that the young coach inherited a number of problems with the program that include probation, reduced scholarships and a postseason ban. It is very difficult be successful immediately after this type of situation.

In addition, Kiffin has continually proved himself as an excellent recruiter. According to, USC has the No. 1 incoming class for next season. This is in addition to Top 10 classes in each of the last two years.

Finally, he has never had a chance to coach his own players for a significant amount of time. Some of this was his choosing, but his time with the Trojans represents the longest tenure at any stop in his career. 

USC should allow him to hire a new defensive coordinator with updated schemes to handle the current style of play in the NCAA. 

If he still fails at that point, then a firing would be more justified.

Until then, Monte Kiffin's resignation allows a new opportunity for both the head coach and the team. It also allows the longtime NFL coach to get back to what he does best.

It is a decision that was not likely easy to come by, but it creates the perfect scenario for all parties.