Lane Kiffin returns to USC: Jay Med's Minnesota Gophers Column, Jan. 12, 2010

Jesse L. MedfordContributor IJanuary 12, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 13:  New head coach of the USC Trojans Lane Kiffin speaks to the media during a press conference at Heritage Hall January 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

In 2007, Lane Kiffin interviewed for the Minnesota Golden Gophers head coaching position, while he was an assistant at USC. Since being passed over for the job in favor of Tim Brewster, Kiffin has coached for the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Volunteers.

Today he has changed jobs again. He is going back to USC, this time as head coach.

I have to believe that if Kiffin were hired by the Gophers, his star wouldn't have ever risen so far as to accept any of those positions. Although I have always wished that he were the coach selected by Minnesota, Kiffin would probably have had a mediocre three years. Just enough for a possible two-year extension, like what Brewster is in line for.

Maybe he could've at least won an Insight Bowl?

In other news, Seantrel Henderson is going to be announcing his college choice Feb. 3 in New York City. That doesn't sound like a platform anyone would use to announce the University of Minnesota as a selection. Although, the Golden Gophers are reportedly still in the final eight, with no schools ahead of the others.

Henderson's former Cretin-Durham Hall teammate, Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd and Minnesota running back Shady Salamon, were arrested by University of Minnesota police on Jan. 8. They were cited for the misdemeanor of underage consumption of liquor. Floyd had blood on his hands, shirt and feet. He told police he was in a physical altercation at a party.

Four-star wide receiver James Green is enrolled at Toledo instead of Minnesota. Word is that he couldn't get in to Minnesota academically.

Channelview High School Texas receiver Chris Hawkins, a four-star prospect by, is committed to Minnesota. However, other schools are still reported to be pursuing him.

Minnesota's Mr. Football, Zack Vraa, hasn't been offered a scholarship by the Gophers. He is mulling offers from Air Force and nearly all of the Dakota schools.

Three Gopher football players were named to ’s All-Big 10 Bowl Team: safety Kyle Theret (junior), defensive back Kim Royston (junior), and punter Blake Haudan (senior). Linebacker Lee Campbell (senior) and wide receiver Da’Jon McKnight (sophmore) earned honorable mention.

Ex-Gopher quarterback Tony Dungy, reportedly turned down the Seattle Seahawks offer to become the president of the organization.

Joseph "Joker" Phillips was named head football coach of his alma mater Kentucky. Phillips coached Minnesota's wide receivers under Glen Mason.

Former Mason offensive coordinator Mitch Browning has been hired as Akron's offensive line coach. Ex-Gophers associate athletics director Tom Wistrcill is the Zips athletic director.

George McDonald was hired to coach wide receivers at Rutgers. He held that position under Tim Brewster in 2007 and 2008.



The Dallas Mavericks traded ex-Gopher Kris Humphries to the New Jersey Nets yesterday, as part of a deal for Eduardo Najera. Humphries is averaging 5.2 points per game this season.

Gopher basketball's Blake Hoffarber is ranked No. 2 in the NCAA for his three-point field goal percentage of 52.1 percent. Al Nolen is No. 8 in assist-turnover ratio at 3.04.

Gopher recruit Sari Noga reached 3,000 points for her high school basketball career. Gopher senior Katie Ohm holds the record with 3,694 points.



Former Gopher Hobey Baker Award-winner Jordan Leopold is a first-team selection in the College Hockey News All-Decade Team. Ryan Potulny and Thomas Vanek were selected to the second team.

Former Gopher forward Mike Dorr has two goals and two assists, including a game winner, in seven games with Minnesota State.

Tracy Engstrom Cassano, a former Gopher Woman's hockey player, was honored by the Minnesota Wild with an Excellence in Coaching Award.



The Gophers Men's Gymnastics team is ranked No. 8 in the Preseason Coaches Poll. Michigan, Illinois, Penn State, and Ohio State are ranked four through seven, respectively.

The woman's team is ranked No. 20, with a ranking of No. 11 on the balance beam. Janell Campbell (freshman) is third nationally in the floor exercise.

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