Kiffin bolts Tennessee to coach USC

Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin has been named the next head coach at Southern California, athletic director Mike Garrett announced on Tuesday.

Kiffin replaces Pete Carroll, who jumped to the NFL as coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

“We are really excited to welcome Lane Kiffin back to USC,” Garrett said in a statement. “I was able to watch him closely when he was an assistant with us and what I saw was a bright, creative young coach who I thought would make an excellent head coach here if the opportunity ever arose. I’m confident he and his staff will keep USC football performing at the high level that we expect.”

The hiring was first reported by ESPN.com.

Kiffin, the former Oakland Raiders coach, led the Volunteers for only one season.

Kiffin has been on the move of late. He was 7-6 in his one season at Tennessee and 5-15 in one-plus seasons with the Raiders before being fired in September 2008.

He was a member of the USC coaching staff from 2001 to ’06, first as wide receivers coach and then as offensive coordinator under Carroll.

Kiffin’s contract calls for him to pay a $800,000 buyout for leaving Tennessee after only one season.

“Those payments shall be made in monthly installments over a 36-month period,” the contract reads. It was not immediately clear if USC would pay any of that sum.

In another part of the blockbuster staff changes, a deal is being finalized for longtime offensive coordinator Norm Chow to return to the Trojans in the same capacity, sources close to the school told ESPN’s Shelley Smith.

The current UCLA offensive coordinator held that position with USC from 2001-04. He was also the coordinator at Brigham Young from 1973-99, at NC State in 2000 and with the Tennessee Titans from 2005-07.

Kiffin will bring his father and defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin, and assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron to Southern California with him.

ESPN.com
1/12/10