LOS ANGELES (Sports Network) - The University of Southern California officially introduced Lane Kiffin as its new head coach on Wednesday at a press conference.
Kiffin noted that this position was his "dream job" and that it was a very
difficult decision to leave the Volunteers.
"It was very easy to see that we're home," Kiffin said. "It was a very
difficult decision. We thought a lot about it. It became very obvious that
when we had a chance to come back here, we were coming back home to the
greatest job in America. We're extremely excited to be back home."
Kiffin was previously a member of Carroll's staff at USC from 2001-06,
eventually being elevated to offensive coordinator for the 2005 and 2006
seasons. He also assumed the role of recruiting coordinator for those seasons.
"We're going to go anywhere to get the best players that there are," Kiffin
said. "This staff will hit the ground running, and we'll be going into every
home of the best players in the country to bring them to SC."
Kiffin was given his first head coaching gig when Al Davis lured him to the
NFL. Kiffin, though, lasted less than two seasons with Oakland, compiling a
5-15 record before leaving in a bitter war of words with the Raiders owner.
Tennessee then came calling after Phillip Fulmer announced he would not return
for an 18th season in 2009, and Kiffin guided the Volunteers to a 7-6 record
and an appearance in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl this past year.
Kiffin will bring along key components from his staff at Tennessee, including
his father, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, and recruiting coordinator Ed
Orgeron, who was head coach at Ole Miss from 2005-07.
"I believe every job you have a specific plan to get the job done," Kiffin
said. "It's different here (than Tennessee). We don't need to go out and grab
attention because we have it. It's very obvious to me that our number one
thing here is to develop the student-athlete and to coach football."
Kiffin's time in Tennessee was short but noteworthy. He was reprimanded on at
least two occasions by the SEC, one for comments alleging that Florida
violated recruiting rules and another for public comments he made about game
officials in a loss to eventual-BCS champion Alabama.
There was also an incident involving three of his players being arrested for
attempted armed robbery, two of which he dismissed from the team.
The 34-year-old Kiffin may inherit some more controversy as well at USC, which
has come under fire lately with investigations into NCAA rules violations, one
including star running back Joe McKnight, who will forgo his senior season
and enter the NFL Draft, and another continuing investigation involving former
star running back Reggie Bush.
Kiffin must also replace the winning ways of Carroll, who compiled a 97-19
record in his nine sublime years at the helm, including two national
championships, sharing the 2003 crown with LSU before an undisputed No. 1
ranking the following year.