ESPN.com is reporting that Alabama has hired Lane Kiffin as its new offensive coordinator.
Kiffin spent a little more than a season as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, going 4-12 in 2007 and starting 1-3 in 2008 before being fired and replaced by Tom Cable. He was fired as head coach at USC in September after a 3-2 start that included back-to-back losses to open Pac-12 play.
Kiffin was 7-6 in 2009 at Tennessee before bolting for USC, where he was 28-15 while dealing with major recruiting sanctions as part of NCAA punishment for violations that occurred within the program when Reggie Bush played for the Trojans in the mid-2000s.
Kiffin visited Alabama coach Nick Saban before the Sugar Bowl and then became a candidate to become offensive coordinator when Doug Nussmeier left the Crimson Tide program to take the same position at Michigan.
“Lane is a really good offensive coach and I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for him,” Saban said before the Sugar Bowl. “Just to come in a brainstorm a little bit to get some professional ideas with our guys is a really positive thing.”
Given that Saban has a little bit of that Dark Lord of the Sith mystique about him, it’s entirely possible that the pre-Sugar Bowl meeting was sort of a pre-interview interview, considering it’s unlikely that Nussmeier’s decision to leave Alabama for a less-prestigious program came entirely out of the blue.