The USC Trojans fired head coach Lane Kiffin six hours after his team lost to the Arizona State Sun Devils. According to ESPN on Sept. 29, athletic director Pat Haden fired Kiffin on the team’s charter-flight back home after the game.
Kiffin seemed to be in a tough situation, coming to USC when the school was facing some major NCAA infractions. When Penn State saw their penalties lowered this week, USC asked for theirs to be lowered as well and the NCAA refused their request.
That put Kiffin in a situation that seemed hard to overcome on the field. However, with the undefeated season that the Ohio State Buckeyes had in 2012, Urban Meyer set the bar really high and Kiffin couldn’t blame his loss of scholarships on losing without looking like he was making excuses.
USC lost to Arizona State, 63-41, and has lost seven of their last 11 games. They opened the 2013 Pac-12 season with two straight losses. In his four seasons at USC, Kiffin finished his tenure with a 28-15 record. Honestly, despite the high praise heaped upon Kiffin when he signed with USC, his overall coaching record is subpar.
Kiffin started out as an assistant at USC and then went on to coach the Oakland Raiders in the NFL. The Raiders fired him in his second season after leading the team to a 5-15 record. He went to Tennessee for one season, where he finished 7-6 with a 4-4 record in the SEC. After Tennessee lost in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, he left for USC.
Kiffin's best season with the Trojans was 2011, where he finished 10-2 but his team was ineligible for postseason play. In 2012, USC opened the season ranked first in the nation and Kiffin became the first coach since 1964 to take his team from first in the nation to unranked by the end of the season.
Trojans assistant head coach Ed Orgeron will take over after the Lane Kiffin firing. He is also the recruiting coordinator and defensive-line coach. Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is the leading candidate to interview for the job.