USC announced the hiring of Lane Kiffin as their next head coach Tuesday night just two days after Pete Carroll officially tendered his resignation. Kiffin, a former USC assistant, leaves Tennessee just 14 months after taking over for Phill Fulmer and with just three weeks remaining until Signing Day.
Reports have also said that Kiffin is bringing his father, Monte, as his defensive coordinator along with fellow former USC assistant Ed Orgeron with him from his Tennessee staff.
ESPN’s Shelly Smith has also reported that former USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow could be on his way back to USC in the same capacity after spending the past two seasons in the same capacity at USC’s cross town rival UCLA.
Let that all sink in for a little.
Should Chow be officially announced as part of the USC staff along with the Kiffins and Orgeron, the Trojans will once again have a very formidable staff in terms of both coaching and recruiting. Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron are both considered to be elite recruiters and Monte Kiffin and Norm Chow are among the best coordinators in football.
Earlier Tuesday it was reported that Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio, thought to be the front runner as of Monday night, would be staying in the Jacksonville. This led most to believe that USC was going to be scrambling to put together a staff. Just a few hours later it appears as though the Trojans not only have most of their staff in place, but also have assembled an all star supporting cast for their new head coach.
Most Notre Dame fans had hoped that the Irish could benefit in recruiting from USC’s coaching search, but Tuesday’s news could put a damper on those hopes. Kiffin is known as an elite recruiter and could be able to hold USC’s impressive class together assuming he can convince recruits that any looming NCAA sanctions won’t be major.
Notre Dame is still recruiting Kyle Prater (USC commit), Seantrel Henderson, Dietrich Riley, and Dion Bailey among other recruits that are either committed to USC or heavily considering them. How the Kiffin hire affects Notre Dame’s chances with each is unknown at this point.
Considering how quickly Kiffin took every chance he could to take shots at Tennessee’s rival Florida and their head coach Urban Meyer, the Notre Dame-USC rivalry could even a little more interesting. With Kiffin and Brian Kelly both heading into their first years at their respected schools, it seems likely that the two will forever be linked and compared to each other in the storied rivalry.