Less than 48 hours removed from losing their coach of the last nine seasons, USC announced Lane Kiffin will be the next Trojan coach Tuesday night.
Kiffin, who worked under former coach Pete Carroll as both a receivers coach and an offensive coordinator, spent last season as the University of Tennessee’s football coach.
Kiffin will install an entirely new staff to work with him, which, according to ESPN, could include Norm Chow, who was the offensive coordinator at USC before Kiffin ascended to his position. After leaving USC, Chow was hired by the Tennessee Titans to take the same position with the Titans. Chow spent three seasons working there and was then hired by Rick Neuheisel to be the offensive coordinator at UCLA.
The announcement came just hours after the university began its official search for a replacement for Carroll, who announced his resignation on Monday afternoon.
Kiffin addressed the Tennessee media late Monday night after the announcement broke.
Kiffin made it clear during his statement that the job as USC coach was the only job worth leaving his post at Tennessee.
After his time as a coordinator at USC, Kiffin was hired to be the coach of the NFL Oakland Raiders. Kiffin’s tenure in Oakland was short-lived, however, as he and owner Al Davis clashed over a variety of team decisions. After less than two seasons at the helm of the Raiders, Davis dismissed Kiffin from his position after Kiffin compiled a 5-15 record.
Kiffin was then hired by Tennessee to replace Phillip Fulmer in late 2008 and had moderate success with the Volunteers during the 2009 season, leading the Vols to a 7-6 record and a berth in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Kiffin, however, was a lightning rod at Tennessee, bringing controversy with him to the school. The program was cited for a variety of NCAA rule violations during Kiffin’s 14 months at the school.
Althletic Director Mike Garrett released a statement on Tuesday night announcing the decision.
“We are really excited to welcome Lane Kiffin back to USC,” Garrett said in the statement. “He has a coaching background both in the pros and in the best collegiate conferences. He has a great command of the X’s and O’s. He is familiar with the Trojan landscape and will be a great representative of our university.”
Kiffin will also bring a large contingent of coaches from Tennessee to fill out his staff at USC, including defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin (who is his father) and assistant coach Ed Orgeron.
The elder Kiffin is best known for his time in the NFL, where he was one of the engineers behind the success of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this decade. His “Tampa 2” defensive scheme became a widely implemented system in the pros and in college.
Orgeron, who is also a former Trojan assistant coach, joined Kiffin in Tennessee after a stint as the coach of the University of Mississippi and was integral to Tennessee’s highly ranked 2010 recruiting class.