Lane Kiffin didn’t win a conference championship or make an appearance in his first BCS bowl game as a head coach in 2011, but he did just about everything else in his second year as head football coach at USC.
And now Kiffin will officially have some hardware to remember the 2011 football season by.
Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Sports Council named the 36-year-old the 2011 Coach of the Year recipient as part of their seventh-annual L.A. Sports Awards. Kiffin beat out a cavalcade of star-studded coaches, including 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson, MLS Cup winner Bruce Arena and 2002 World Series champion Mike Scioscia. Arena, Jackson and Scioscia each took home the award from 2008-2010.
Despite another year of postseason sanctions, Kiffin led a Trojans’ squad that finished No. 6 in the final AP Poll atop the Pac-12 South Division regular season standings with a 10-2 record, including big wins against No. 4 Oregon and Notre Dame on the road and UCLA in the season finale.
Under Kiffin’s guidance in 2011, the USC football program produced three first-team All-Americans, seven Pac-12 first teamers, the Pac-12 Morris Trophy winner, the Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Freshmen of the Year and five members of the Freshmen All-American first team. They are widely expected to compete for the Pac-12 title and national title next season.
During his two-year tenure at Troy, Kiffin has amassed an 18-7 (.720) record. Only Howard Jones and John Robinson had more wins in their first two seasons at USC. He was previously the head coach at Tennessee and served as a member of USC’s staff from 2001-2006.
Kiffin will be honored at the L.A. Sports Awards ceremony on March 15 at Club Nokia at L.A. Live.
Other Trojans who have previously been recognized at the L.A. Sports Awards include Allyson Felix (2007 and 2009), Lisa Leslie (2006) and Matt Leinart (2005).