Following a 62-41 loss to Arizona State, USC Trojans athletic director Pat Haden has fired coach Lane Kiffin, according to ESPN. The blowout defeat sent the team to a 3-2 record on the year, and an 0-2 start to Pac-12 play.
The Trojans have lost seven of their last 11 games, and now, just five into the 2013 season, the program starts over.
Over four years at USC, Kiffin had compiled a mark of 28-15. Most of those victories came in his first two years at the helm. As the losses piled up, so did the calls for his ouster. Despite a series of off-field blunders a year ago, as well as a three-game skid to end the season, Haden decided to retain Kiffin for the 2013 season.
This year’s campaign did not open up well. A 10-7 loss to lowly Washington State in Week 2 resulted in “Fire Kiffin” chants echoing throughout the Trojans’ home stadium. Compounding matters is the fact that Kiffin is supposed to be an offensive mastermind, but the current edition of the USC Trojans is ranked last or near the bottom of the Pac-12 in several key statistical categories: Points per game, 26.0 (Last); Yards PG, 380.4 (Last): 3rd down, 27.7% (Last); Pass YPG, 189.8 (11th).
All told, Kiffin has now been fired from or bolted three different big-time head coaching jobs before the age of 40. The son of legendary assistant Monte, Kiffin was awarded the head job with the Oakland Raiders at the age of 31. He only lasted 20 games, however, before a nasty spat with late owner Al Davis was made public and he was canned.
From there, he landed the job at Tennessee after the Vols fired national championship-winning head coach Phillip Fulmer. Kiffin was only there for one season before leaving the program in the dust for USC.
He thought he was leaving for greener pastures, but it doesn’t matter where you coach if you don’t win football games.
Haden has given Trojans fans what they wanted.
Can the next head coach bring them some victories?