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Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss Agree to New Contract Ahead of Outback Bowl

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2021

Mississippi head coach Lane Kiffin runs off the field after the first half of an NCAA college football game between Mississippi and Florida in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Thomas Graning/Associated Press

Ole Miss announced Saturday that it agreed to a new contract with head football coach Lane Kiffin.

Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter said:

"This is an investment in the future of Ole Miss Football. We hired Coach Kiffin with the hope of revitalizing our football program, and in just one short year, he has done just that. His innovative offensive approach has shattered SEC records, and with a top-20 recruiting class coming in, the future is bright under Coach Kiffin's leadership. We are committed to him and providing the resources necessary to elevate this program to greater heights."

In his first season as the Rebels' head coach in 2020, Kiffin posted a 4-5 record. He will look to end the campaign on a high note Saturday when Ole Miss faces Indiana in the Outback Bowl.

If Kiffin is able to lead Ole Miss past Indiana, it will mark the first time the school has posted a record of .500 or better since going 6-6 in 2017.

With regard to the new contract, Kiffin said: "I appreciate Keith's leadership and his commitment to building a winning football program. While I'm proud of what our team accomplished this season, we have higher aspirations for Ole Miss Football. This is just the start, and I look forward to continuing to build a championship program."

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While 2020 wasn't necessarily a banner year for the Rebels, they seemed to take a step in the right direction, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

With Kiffin leading the way, the Rebels rank 12th in the nation in scoring with 40.7 points per game. Ole Miss also set the all-time SEC record for total yards per game in a single season with 562.4.

One area in which the Rebels will undoubtedly have to improve, however, is on defense, as they rank 122nd in the country with 40.3 points allowed per game.

Notably, Kiffin's offense gave the undefeated No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide a scare this season, as Bama held off Ole Miss 63-48.

Although this is Kiffin's first season as the head coach at Ole Miss, he has plenty of head coaching experience at the college level. He served as the head coach at Tennessee in 2009, USC from 2010-13 and Florida Atlantic from 2017-19.

In nine seasons as a collegiate head coach, Kiffin is 66-39 with five bowl appearances.

Kiffin also enjoyed a brief stint as an NFL head coach with the Oakland Raiders from 2007-08. Kiffin was fired just four games into his second season and finished 5-15 with the Raiders.

There is still plenty of work to be done before the Rebels can truly become a championship contender in the SEC, but based on the strides they made in 2020, they appear to be on the right track.

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