Lane Kiffin has never been afraid to do a couple of things — go for it on fourth down and tease other coaches on Twitter. In fact, Kiffin is one of the best Twitter accounts to follow in the entire sports world.
But he’s not just a great social media presence and aggressive play-caller. He’s also turned into a heck of a coach in every aspect of the game.
Though he gets categorized as a pass-happy offensive mind, his offenses consistently finish at the top or near the top of the conference in rushing yards per game. In 2022 at Ole Miss, Kiffin’s Rebels averaged 256.5 yards per game on the ground to lead the SEC. Second-place Arkansas averaged 236.5 rushing yards per contest.
Kiffin, the former Fresno State quarterback, teamed up with Nick Saban at Alabama in January of 2014 in hopes of bringing a faster tempo to the Crimson Tide’s offense. It’s safe to say he did just that, calling plays for Alabama’s 2015 national championship squad.
Kiffin spent 6 seasons on Pete Carroll’s staff at Southern California before becoming a first-year head coach in 2007 with the Oakland Raiders — the NFL’s youngest head coach in the modern era (31).
When Kiffin’s NFL coaching career soon fizzled, he inherited Phillip Fulmer’s mess in Knoxville as Tennessee’s head coach in 2008 and paced the Vols to a second-place finish in the SEC East. That’s when USC came calling about its head coach opening following Carroll’s departure to the Seattle Seahawks. In 3 seasons, Kiffin’s Trojans won 25 games, but it wasn’t enough to appease athletic director Pat Haden after a 7-6 finish in 2012. Early in the 2013 season, Kiffin was famously (or infamously, from his point of view) fired on the tarmac. He then made the move to Alabama as the offensive coordinator.
Now a successful head coach at Ole Miss (after a 3-year stop at Florida Atlantic), Kiffin is one of the most famous examples of Nick Saban’s head coaching image rehab program. Notable “alums” since Kiffin have included Steve Sarkisian, Mike Locksley, Butch Jones and Mario Cristobal, among others.
The 2021 season was a special one for Kiffin at Ole Miss. That year, the Rebels finished the regular season with 10 wins for the first time in school history. QB Matt Corral led Ole Miss’s dynamic offense to the Sugar Bowl, where the Rebels fell to Baylor after Corral suffered an injury early in the first quarter.
Kiffin has become a master of the NCAA transfer portal in recent years, completely rebuilding the Ole Miss roster on an annual basis. Will that lead to more success on the field? We’ll see in the coming years if he can get the Rebels back to 10 wins in the regular season again.
Lane Kiffin’s Coaching Experience
- 1997-98: Fresno State — Assistant
- 1999: Colorado State — Graduate assistant
- 2000: Jacksonville Jaguars — Defensive quality control
- 2001: USC — Tight ends coach
- 2002-03: USC — Wide receivers coach
- 2004: USC — Wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator
- 2005-o6: USC — Offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach
- 2007-08: Oakland Raiders (NFL) — Head coach
- 2009: Tennessee — Head coach
- 2010-13: USC — Head coach
- 2014-16: Alabama — Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach
- 2017-19: Florida Atlantic — Head coach
- 2020-present: Ole Miss — Head coach
Head Coaching Record
- Oakland Raiders (NFL) (2 seasons): 5-15
- Tennessee (1 season): 7-6 (4-4 in SEC play)
- USC (4 seasons): 28-15
- Florida Atlantic (3 seasons): 26-13
- Ole Miss (3 seasons): 23-13 (14-11 in SEC play)
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