Alabama OC Lane Kiffin will return in 2015, school confirms
Those hoping that the Crimson Tide coaching staff loses its star coordinator to the NFL after just one season are bathing in disappointment this weekend.
Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will return to the team in 2015, the school announced Saturday. Kiffin’s name had been linked to the same position with the San Francisco 49ers.
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) January 24, 2015
In his first season, Kiffin helped Alabama average 36.9 points per game, transforming a projected backup QB in Blake Sims into an All-SEC performer and helping star WR Amari Cooper break all kinds of Crimson Tide records.
Alabama has lost three assistants — linebackers coaches Kevin Steele and Lance Thompson as well as director of player personnel Tyler Siskey — but defensive coordinator Kirby Smart appears set to return for an eighth season, and retaining Kiffin is huge news for the 2015 Crimson Tide.
“We’ve very pleased and happy that Lane is going to be staying here at the University of Alabama with us,” coach Nick Saban said in a team-issued statement. “He’s done a fabulous job and is one of the finest offensive coaches in the country. He is going to have plenty of opportunities in the future and we want to continue to help him develop as a coach so when he leaves here, he’ll be in a very good situation. Our offense was extremely productive last season and we look forward to building on some of the good things we did on that side of the ball with this year’s team.”
The official Alabama press release also issued a statement attributed to Kiffin:
“I made a comment at the Sugar Bowl that I would be back this fall at Alabama and that is definitely the plan. This time of year, there are lots of things out there regarding other coaching opportunities, but I want to reaffirm my commitment to the University of Alabama, Coach Saban, and our team. I’m excited about what our offensive staff was able to accomplish last year, but I also think there are a lot of things we can do a better job of in terms of putting our players in the best situation to have success.
“After being here for a year, I can see why this is such a special place in terms of the history, tradition, and how much football means to everyone at Alabama. I also have learned so much in the time I’ve spent with Coach Saban and really have a better understanding of what makes him the great coach that he is. I think the more time I can spend learning from him, the better coach I will be in the future.”