Ed Orgeron details 20-year close relationship with Lane Kiffin
Few coaches across the SEC have the kind of relationship enjoyed by LSU coach Ed Orgeron and Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, who face off against one another for the first time this week in Tiger Stadium.
It started 20 years ago on Pete Carroll’s staff at Southern Cal, and they’ve stayed in touch through the years, and worked together again when Kiffin was the coach at Tennessee and hired Orgeron. Before Kiffin became the head coach at Florida Atlantic, he was all but set to be the new offensive coordinator with Orgeron at LSU.
At his Monday press conference, Orgeron recalled their long and close relationship.
“I respect him as a coach, there’s no question,” Orgeron said. “I respect his knowledge of the game. He got me to leave the NFL to go with him to Tennessee. … He’s a great recruiter, me and him recruited a lot of great players together. We have a lasting bond, we won two championships together. … I remain close with him. We talk about personal things, we share things. I just have the utmost respect for him.”
While they faced off plenty in practice at USC and Tennessee, this is the first time they will be on opposite sidelines in a game. Orgeron recalled what makes Kiffin such a talented offensive coordinator.
“The game is in slow motion for Lane on the sideline,” Orgeron said. “He can see all 22 at one time, much like Dave Aranda could for us. I watch the line, because I’m a line guy, some guys watch the defensive backs. He watches all 22 at one time, can tell what they’re doing. He can change plays on the line of scrimmage. You seen him at Alabama, whistling, changing the plays. He played quarterback, he knows what to do with the football. He understands both sides of the football, so I think his gameday calling, his preparation and his recruiting are excellent.”
Orgeron said he doesn’t talk to many head coaches during the season, and it’s a rare occasion. So he didn’t necessarily have to “cut off” communication like other close friends do.
Orgeron said Kiffin learned football from his dad, Monte, who talks football 24/7.
“Lane’s just like his daddy,” Orgeron said.