Despite speculation that his job remains in jeopardy, USC coach Lane Kiffin will be back on the sidelines in 2013 for the No. 18 Trojans, he said following Saturday’s 38-28 loss to crosstown rival UCLA.
Kiffin, who was hired by USC in January 2010 to replace Pete Carroll, said, during his post-game news conference at the Rose Bowl, that he had been assured by Athletic Director Pat Haden he would keep his job.
A school spokesperson confirmed that such a conversation between Haden and Kiffin had taken place.
Haden also confirmed the account via text message to ESPNLosAngeles.com.
“Absolutely,” he said.
USC, which began the season ranked atop the Associated Press top-25 poll, is the first preseason No. 1 team to lose at least four regular season games since 1984, when Auburn finished 9-4.
“Obviously, we’re extremely disappointed in this season,” Kiffin said. “We’re too talented to have this many losses. That falls on me.”
The Trojans (7-4, 5-4) face Notre Dame on Nov. 24 at the Coliseum in their regular season finale, in addition to a potential bowl game at an undetermined site.
Kiffin reiterated Saturday that he wasn’t concerned about the impact the remaining stretch of games would have on his job status.
“I’m not worried about it,” he said.
Kiffin is 25-11 through nearly three seasons with USC.