Lane Kiffin Says He Would 'Definitely' Hire Steve Sarkisian

Mike NorrisFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2016

Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin walks the sideline in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

Lane Kiffin has been pretty successful as the offensive coordinator of the Alabama Crimson Tide. You can't say the same thing about his tenure as a head coach.

The former Southern California Trojans and Tennessee Volunteers headman went a pedestrian 35-21 in five years as a head coach, failing to win even one bowl game. In four years at USC, he was 28-15, which won't cut it with one of the most storied football programs in the country.

He left Tennessee after just one year, which did not sit well with the team, and was ousted from USC five games into his fourth season.

Yet if he finds himself leading a team in the future, he would be fine with hiring another embattled former USC coach.

Per Sam Khan Jr. of, Kiffin would have no problem hiring Steve Sarkisian, who was fired by the Trojans in the middle of the season after allegedly appearing intoxicated at a team meeting. According to SB Nation (via, he later checked into a rehabilitation facility.

"Oh, I definitely would [hire him]," Kiffin said, per Khan. "People go through things, and they happen. There are all kinds of comeback stories. ... Hopefully he'll be one of them."

Kiffin pointed to Sarkisian's success with the Washington Huskies as a big reason he would add him to his future staff, per Khan:

People go through things. It doesn't mean he can't coach. The guy is a great playcaller. I always go back to his last year at Washington. In the history of the school there had been six games of over 600 yards. He had six in the same season.

There's no question about that. There's no question about his relationships with the players, quarterback development. We all go through things, and I can tell talking to him that he has come back stronger and he'll be even better.

Of course, Kiffin was just answering a question that came his way, and it's not as though he landed a job and now has to put his money where his mouth is.

However, he didn't brush off the question, either, adding that he invited Sarkisian to attend an Alabama practice last month, though Sarkisian declined, per Khan. Instead, he offered some advice for Kiffin via text message at halftime of Alabama's 38-0 Cotton Bowl victory over the Michigan State Spartans.

Kiffin declined to discuss any possible head coaching jobs prior to his team's College Football Playoff Championship Game against the No. 1 Clemson Tigers, per Khan.

"That's why you have an agent to deal with all of that stuff, but I'm not going into all that," he said. "I have a great job. So any time that stuff comes up, I remind myself that I have a great job with great players and a great head coach and there are only two teams still playing, so we're fortunate to be here."