Lane Kiffin joined the Alabama staff on Jan. 10, 2014, as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and revitalized the Crimson Tide’s offense in his first season. For his efforts, Kiffin was selected as a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award, which goes to the country’s best assistant coach.
One of Kiffin’s first responsibilities at Alabama was identifying a starting quarterback and then developing Blake Sims in 2014. With three-year starter and All-American AJ McCarron off to the NFL, Kiffin oversaw Sims’ rise to the top of the Alabama depth chart en route to a school-record 3,487 passing yards and 3,837 yards of total offense while completing 64.5 percent of his passes. Sims ranked tied for fourth nationally in total QBR (83.7) and seventh in passing efficiency (157.9). He not only proved proficient in the passing game but gave Alabama a running threat at quarterback not seen during Saban’s tenure in Tuscaloosa. Sims was selected second-team All-SEC, named to the Senior Bowl, tabbed as a finalist for the Manning Award and a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award.
Kiffin’s offense ranked 17th nationally in total offense per game (484.5) while scoring an average of 36.9 points per game. The passing game averaged a school-record 277.9 yards per game (3,890) to rank 28th nationally and fourth in the SEC. His squad also ranked fourth nationally in third-down conversion percentage at 51.5 percent, ninth in first downs (340) and 10th in team passing efficiency (155.7). Amari Cooper won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best receiver, after catching a school- and SEC-record 124 passes for a UA-record 1,727 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns.
He spent the last three-plus seasons as the head coach at Southern California, where he compiled a record of 28-15. Kiffin’s 2012 USC squad went 7-6 overall and 5-4 in the Pac-12 South, good for second place. Wide receiver Marqise Lee was a unanimous first team All-American and won the Biletnikoff Award while also being named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. Quarterback Matt Barkley, who won the Wuerffel Trophy, set conference records for passing yards and passing touchdowns.
Kiffin led the Trojans to a 10-2 record in 2011 and a sixth-place finish in the final Associated Press poll. The team finished first in the Pac-12 South with a 7-2 mark. His 2011 USC offense produced a 3,500-yard passer, a pair of 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher. Three Trojans earned first team All-America honors (Matt Kalil, Robert Woods and T.J. McDonald) and five were named Freshman All-Americans.
In his first year as the head coach USC, Kiffin led the Trojans to an 8-5 record (5-4 Pac-10). Before his arrival, the Trojans were averaging 26.5 points per game in scoring offense and 389.1 yards per game in total offense. In his first two seasons, those numbers increased to 31.0 points per game and 431.5 yards in 2011 and 35.8 points and 456.8 yards in 2012.
Prior to his tenure at Southern California, Kiffin served as the head coach at Tennessee in 2009. He led the Volunteers to a second-place finish in the SEC East and an appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Volunteers’ offense jumped at least 34 places in every national statistical category over the 2008 figures. Tennessee improved from 17.3 to 29.3 points per game while going from 268.8 to 383.5 yards per game in total offense.
Kiffin came to Tennessee from the Oakland Raiders, where he served as head coach from 2007-08. At 31, he was the youngest head coach in the NFL’s modern era. Oakland’s offense significantly improved in his first year, up 7.2 points per game and 48.6 yards per game from 2006.
Prior to his first head coaching job, Kiffin spent six years as an assistant coach for Pete Carroll at Southern California, including two years as the offensive coordinator (2005-06). During his first tenure with the Trojans, USC captured two national championships and compiled a 65-12 record. Kiffin was promoted to passing game coordinator in 2004 and helped Matt Leinart win the Heisman Trophy as he passed for 3,322 yards with 33 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
He took over as USC’s offensive coordinator in 2005 and led the Trojans to a scoring average of 49.1 points per game and 579.8 yards per game of total offense during his two years as offensive coordinator. Kiffin started at USC in 2001 as the tight ends coach and then coached the wide receivers during his remaining five years.
Kiffin graduated from Fresno State in 1998 after playing quarterback for three seasons (1994-96) for the Bulldogs. He began his coaching career as a student assistant at Fresno State under Pat Hill in 1997 and 1998. He moved on to Colorado State in 1999 as offensive line assistant. He spent the 2000 season as defensive quality control assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars under Tom Coughlin.
Kiffin attended Bloomington (Minn.) Jefferson High, where he played football, basketball and baseball. He and his wife, Layla, have two daughters Landry and Presley and one son Knox.