You have to give Lane Kiffin this—the man knows how to keep his name in the ring for some truly high-profile jobs.
According to ESPN.com's Joe Schad, Kiffin is interviewing Thursday, Jan. 9, at Alabama to become the team's offensive coordinator, following Doug Nussmeier's departure for Michigan, via the Associated Press. The report shares these additional details:
The 38-year-old Kiffin visited with Alabama coach Nick Saban prior to the Sugar Bowl "to share ideas and exchange ideas ... [for] professional development," Saban said at the time.
"Lane is a really good offensive coach, and I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for him," Saban said then. "Just to come in and brainstorm a little bit to get some professional ideas with our guys is a really positive thing."
Apparently, Kiffin impressed Saban enough to garner consideration for the team's offensive coordinator gig.
Kiffin has had some rocky times over the past several years. The Oakland Raiders hired him as their head coach in 2007, making him the youngest head coach (31 years, eight months) in the history of the NFL. He went just 5-15 in less than two seasons in Oakland, however, and the Raiders fired him after Week 4 of the 2008 campaign.
But Kiffin landed on his feet, getting hired as the head coach at the University of Tennessee in December 2008. Kiffin stayed for one season, leading the Volunteers to a 7-6 record in 2009, but he made national headlines when he accused Florida's Urban Meyer of recruiting violations.
Kiffin left the Tennessee job to take over as head coach of USC, where he had previously worked as an assistant coach. Kiffin took over the USC program in January 2010 amidst the school being hit with NCAA sanctions, leading it to a 28-15 record through three-plus seasons.
However, after a 62-41 loss to Arizona State on Sept. 28, 2013, USC fired Kiffin in the most unceremonious of fashions, pulling him off the team bus at the airport to inform him of his termination.
Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News detailed the events:
Lane Kiffin got pulled off the team bus at Los Angeles International Airport by Pat Haden when he was fired #USC— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) September 29, 2013
I'm told Lane Kiffin told the bus to wait but then #USC administrators told it to go back to campus without him— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) September 29, 2013
At Alabama, Kiffin would be able to focus solely on the X's and O's of the game, perhaps a welcome respite after failing to succeed as the head honcho in three head-coaching gigs. With Saban as the figurehead, Kiffin can simply run the offense and look to improve a reputation that has taken a bit of a hit over the years.
It's an interesting potential marriage, and one that will receive plenty of scrutiny if Alabama indeed hires him.