Lane Kiffin

Tag Archives: Lane Kiffin

Jack Del Rio interviewed for USC job

Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the USC head coaching vacancy on Nov. 1, according to multiple reports.

Denver Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the USC coaching job on Nov. 1. (Photo: Gregory Bull, AP)Del Rio, who played linebacker at USC during the early 1980s, met with athletic director Pat Haden during Denver’s bye week.

Broncos GM John Elway confirmed that Haden asked permission to interview Del Rio. The interview took place one day before news surfaced that Denver head coach John Fox needed to undergo heart surgery, which elevated Del Rio to the interim job.

Del Rio was 68–71 in nine seasons as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach.

Trojans assistant Ed Orgeron became USC’s interim coach after Lane Kifin’s firing and is a candidate to become full time coach. The former Ole Miss head coach has led USC to a 5-1 record, including a 20-17 upset win against No. 10 Stanford on Saturday night.

Other names mentioned in conjunction with the USC opening include Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.

Former Bears coach Lovie Smith has denied twice in the past month that he interviewed with USC.

Photo: Gregory Bull, AP

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Tuesday, Oct. 22

It’s not exactly a secret that Bo Pelini is in trouble at Nebraska.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini (Photo: Doug McSchooler, AP)

Things look shaky for Nebraska coach Bo Pelini.

The situation isn’t wholly about wins and losses. He has won a lot of games, but has yet to win anything of real significance. His personality has also rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, and that combination is not a good one.

Even though it was a “no brainer” in the eyes of most fans, the general consensus among the coaching fraternity is that it was hard to justify Lane Kiffin’s firing. Kiffin won 8, 10, 7 and was fired after a 3-2 start — all while on NCAA probation.

The way they see it, Kiffin’s team had 55 scholarships vs. everyone else’s 85, and USC athletics director Pat Haden loved him in August.

Haden was appealing the NCAA sanctions and complaining about the hardships the scholarship reductions have caused the same week he fires Kiffin for not winning enough games. Amongst coaches, that generated a collective “Huh?” and will likely cause at least some potential replacements to think a little longer before taking the job.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12… We’re not sure how many games Washington has to win for Steve Sarkisian to keep his job, but one thing is clear: he’s in trouble. The Huskies are 4-3 and the opening win over Boise doesn’t look so impressive anymore.

Three consecutive losses — the last two by 21 and 29 — do not bode well. Upcoming games vs. Cal and Colorado look like wins, but UCLA, Oregon State and Washington State will tell the tale, and he needs a strong finish. Seven (or fewer) regular seasons wins could get him fired.

Dana Holgorsen is in jeopardy at West Virginia. It certainly looks like he’s going to win fewer games each consecutive season. After winning 10 in 2011, the Mountaineers won seven last season and are 3-3 with a tough schedule ahead this year. Add in off-the-field and personal issues that plagued his early time in Morgantown and things don’t look good.

You can also add Mississippi State to the watch list. Though one source said earlier this week that Dan Mullen was safe, multiple others see it differently. Apparently, Mullen has rubbed some folks the wrong way and made his share of enemies in Starkville.

If that wasn’t enough, the natives are plenty restless about his team’s performance on the field. At 3-3 with road games against South Carolina and Texas A&M plus home games vs. Alabama and arch-rival Ole Miss still on the docket, there will be plenty of sleepless nights ahead for Mullen.

What’s perhaps even worse for Mullen, State fans love Mark Hudspeth, who served as the Bulldogs wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator under Mullen in 2009-10 and is currently head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette.

Hudspeth’s Ragin’ Cajuns went 9-4 each of the past two seasons and currently sit at 4-2 with a slew of probable wins on the schedule. Chances are, he’ll look like an even more enticing candidate come December.

Also keep an eye on Minnesota. Jerry Kill has done a great job, but his health may force a change there.

Photo credit: Doug McSchooler, AP

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Kiffin promotes Helton to OC; hires three

Lane Kiffin's 2013 coaching staff is complete. (Photo: Louis Sinco/LA Times)

Lane Kiffin’s 2013 coaching staff is complete. (Photo: Louis Sinco/LA Times)

[dropcap]U[/dropcap]SC’s coaching staff is set.

Lane Kiffin promoted Clay Helton to offensive coordinator and announced the hiring of three new assistants. Mike Summers will be offensive line coach, while Tommie Robinson will coach running backs and Mike Ekelar will coach linebackers.

Helton has been the Trojans’ quarterbacks coach the past three seasons. He added the passing game coordinator title in 2012.

Summers spent the past three seasons as Kentucky’s offensive line and running game coordinator. Before Kentucky, he was hired by Bobby Petrino in 2003, and coached with Petrino until 2009 through stops at Lousiville, the Atlanta Falcons and Arkansas. He accepted a position to re-join Petrino at Western Kentucky in January.

Robinson spent the past three seasons as the Arizona Cardinals’ running backs coach. He joined the Cardinals after working the previous three seasons as running backs coach at Miami (Fla.).

Ekeler spent the past two seasons on Kevin Wilson’s staff at Indiana. Before that, he was linebackers coach at Nebraska for three seasons (2008-10).

James Cregg will remain as offensive line coach working alongside Summers, while associate head coach and special teams coordinator John Baxter will add the tight ends to his coaching duties.

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Report: Indiana's Mike Ekeler will be linebackers coach at USC

According to reports, Indiana's Mike Ekeler will be the new linebackers coach at USC. (Photo: Lincoln Journal-Star)

According to reports, Indiana’s Mike Ekeler will be the new linebackers coach at USC. (Photo: Lincoln Journal-Star)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]ndiana co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Mike Ekeler will be the linebackers coach at USC.

Gerard Martinez of USCFootball reported via Twitter that Ekeler had been offered the position and accepted.

Ekeler spent the past two seasons on Kevin Wilson’s Hoosier staff. Before that, he was linebackers coach at Nebraska for three seasons (2008-10).

Ekeler will replace Scottie Hazelton, who left in January to become defensive coordinator at Nevada.

He earned $306,600 last year at Indiana.

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Report: Summers hired as USC offensive line coach

USC will hire Mike Summers as offensive line coach. (Photo: Benjamin Krain/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

USC will hire Mike Summers as offensive line coach. (Photo: Benjamin Krain/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ike Summers will be hired as USC’s offensive line coach, according to Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com.

Summers spent the past three seasons as Kentucky’s offensive line and running game coordinator. Before Kentucky, he was hired by Bobby Petrino in 2003, and coached with Petrino until 2009 through stops at Lousiville, the Atlanta Falcons and Arkansas. He accepted a position to re-join Petrino at Western Kentucky in January.

He coached alongside USC wide receivers coach Tee Martin during the 2010-11 seasons.

James Cregg, the Trojans’ offensive line coach the past three seasons, will remain on staff.

Summers made $289,700 last season with the Wildcats.

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Alabama or USC: Could Pat Hill be returning to the college game?

Pat Hill could be in line to return college coaching as offensive line coach at Alabama or USC. (Photo: Bryan Cole/The Collegian-Fresno State)

Pat Hill could be in line to return college coaching as offensive line coach at Alabama or USC. (Photo: Bryan Cole/The Collegian-Fresno State)

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]ould Pat Hill be returning to the college game?

It looks like a strong possibility.

Hill, the former Fresno State head coach, was fired in December 2011 after 15 seasons with the Bulldogs. He spent last season as the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive line coach.

The Falcons offensive line performed well and Hill admits he had fun coaching in the professional ranks, but sources indicate that he is itching to be a college head coach again and his best route may be a return through college.

Enter Nick Saban and Alabama, who just so happens to have a coaching history with Hill and is in need an offensive line coach following Jeff Stoutland’s departure to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hill has tremendous respect for Saban, dating back to the early 90s when they both coached under Bill Belicheck on the Cleveland Browns’ staff. Saban and Hill were in Cleveland together from 1992-94 with Saban as defensive coordinator and Hill the offensive line and tight ends coach.

Just after Stoutland left for Philadelphia, Saban reached out to Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman but was rebuffed. Sources indicate that he’s also spoken to Hill and that a deal could be currently in the works.

If nothing happens with Alabama, USC may also be a possibility. Speculation is rampant that USC is in the market for an offensive line coach, with current Trojan offensive line coach James Cregg being reassigned to tight ends coach or let go entirely.

Lane Kiffin recently tried to hire Oregon State offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh but was turned down.

Like Saban, Kiffin also has a history with Hill. Kiffin served as a GA on Hill’s staff at Fresno State in 1997-98, and hosted Hill during his first spring practice as the Trojans’ coach in 2010.

Hill recently told the Fresno Bee that he enjoyed his season in Atlanta and away from the limelight.

“I had a lot of fun, and I didn’t have to talk to the media once,” he said with a laugh.

“I’ll be here for another season, for sure.”

That was before the Alabama or USC job openings were known. Could a job the caliber of Alabama or USC be enough to change his mind?

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OC Kennedy Polamalu out at USC; Tedford a possibility?

Kennedy Polamalu is the fourth USC coach gone since the Trojans' Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech. (Photo: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Kennedy Polamalu is the fourth USC coach gone since the Trojans’ Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech. (Photo: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he fallout from USC’s disappointing 7-6 season continues.

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Trojan offensive coordinator and running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu will not return next season.

Polamalu, who played fullback and linebacker at USC from 1982-85, is the the fourth Trojan coach to depart since the embarrassing Dec. 31 Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech.

Monte Kiffin, former assistant head coach for defense, resigned and is now the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator. Linebackers coach Scottie Hazelton is defensive coordinator at Nevada and secondary coach Marvin Sanders was fired.

Polamalu, who was in his second stint as a USC assistant, joined Lane Kiffin’s staff in 2010. At that time, Polamalu was set to coach his first season with the Tennessee Titans when Kiffin hired him, a move that angered then-Titans coach and USC alum Jeff Fisher and prompted a lawsuit from the Titans. From 2000-2003, Polamalu coached running backs and special teams under Paul Hackett and Pete Carroll.

USCFootball.com reported that one source said Polamalu’s departure had been in the works for the past month. He did not attend USC’s Signing Day dinner Wednesday evening.

According to Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times, Polamalu said just days before the Sun Bowl that he had no intentions to leave.

“Until someone says, ‘Hey, I don’t want you here, you know, then I’ll maybe go and work on the academic side of the building,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot because this is where I want to be.”

Though Polamalu carried the offensive coordinator title, Kiffin maintained play calling duties. Kiffin gave Polamalu and quarterbacks coach Clay Helton added responsibility during Sun Bowl preparations, but Kiffin still called the plays.

Polamalu noted that while he would love to call the plays, he wasn’t optimistic that it would ever happen.

“I have a little personality flaw,” Polamalu said of his offensive philosophy. “I want to be real physical.”

The USCFootball.com report states that Helton may be given the offensive coordinator title. However, one source told CoachScoop that frustrated administrators are pressuring Kiffin to look outside the program for help on offense, perhaps to former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford.

Trojan players past, present and future took to Twitter to express frustration and disappointment with the decision.

Former USC running back reactions:

 

 

Current USC player reactions:

 

 

 

 

USC running back signee reactions:

 

 

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