Lane Kiffin took to the airwaves on Thursday to discuss life after coaching with Mark Willard of ESPN 710 Radio. He reflected on the things he did wrong while at USC and offered his opinion of USC's head-coaching search.
To him, athletic director Pat Haden's job is done; Kiffin said that Ed Orgeron should be the next head coach at USC, without question.
Kiffin also said that despite being fired, he still roots for the Trojans because he spent too much time there not to care. Plus, he is very happy for the success they have achieved under Orgeron, he said.
The former head coach becomes the latest to jump on the Orgeron bandwagon, which has swelled in the wake of USC upsetting and beating Stanford for the first time in five seasons last week.
Despite the fact that Haden has maintained he will continue to look for a new head coach, many in the USC community, as well as the national media, feel like USC has already found its man.
Kiffin went on to say, "This is a huge decision that could set the program back for years," which was a bit ironic, considering.
Back in 2009, when Mike Garrett reached out to Kiffin to replace Pete Carroll, he was the sexy, splash hire, one of the Lost Boys from the Trojans' glory days. Sure, he had developed a bit of a reputation by then, but still, he had a name and Trojan pedigree, and Garrett went for it.
Then, the sanctions hit. Then, the Trojans started losing far more frequently than is acceptable for USC. Then, the fans, media and even the team itself turned on him. One could argue that despite the obvious recruiting benefits of having Kiffin around, his hiring, in some ways, did more harm than good.
Could that be the case for Orgeron, too?
As well as the team has done under him and as much as he is beloved, questions still swirl regarding whether he is head-coaching material. Let's face it: Right now, Orgeron is the rebound guy; he's everything your ex isn't, and he makes you feel good in ways your ex didn't. But like most rebounds, the long-term appeal just might not be there. Orgeron could probably keep the momentum going for another season. But can he do it for three? For five? For 10?
That's what Haden will be looking for when he brings in a new coach.
While this endorsement from Kiffin will be great fodder for the fans, it might not hold much water with Haden. Then again, this decision will be Haden's biggest one yet as the athletic director in Troy. Maybe the guy who did it wrong has a lot of insight into what it takes to be the head coach at USC.
For a complete listen-in on what Kiffin had to say about his stint as USC's head coach, his thoughts on Orgeron and what he is doing now, click here.
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