Lane Kiffin, former head coach of USC, was fired Saturday night after losing to Arizona State. He was pulled off the team bus and relieved of his duties in a parking lot. This seems like a fitting end to what has been a downward spiral. The Trojans had just suffered another disheartening loss and had lost seven out of their last 11 games.
This change was coming for a while as far as many people were concerned. Not only had the Trojans been struggling recently on the field, the program had been hurting with the sanctions being placed after the Reggie Bush scandal. Kiffin’s recruiting, which was one of his strong suits, was getting weaker and weaker as fewer players were committing to playing for USC.
Players weren’t enjoying playing for him, USC supporters had turned against Kiffin and Kiffin himself looked like he was coaching in fear of making any mistakes. What he did show was a coach who couldn’t get out of his own way. If you have looked at him recently on the sidelines, he looked overwhelmed, unprepared and just generally like a man who really wasn’t sure why he was even there.
After losing this job, it really makes you wonder if Kiffin is cut out for coaching at all. This is the third high-profile job that he has been handed that ended in some sort of turmoil. It’s like having three different significant others break up with you over the same reasons. If three different people are saying the same thing, you need to start asking yourself, is it them or is it you?
And if all your relationships end in the same turbulent bridge-burning manner, perhaps it is time to do some serious soul-searching to fix what might be broken. Is that the legacy he wants to leave and is that what he wants future employers to notice?
Sooner or later, he is going to run out of second chances and the door will close on that career forever. He may end up being the Bobby Valentine of college football coaching. There is the promise of a lot of talent and a very high coaching IQ, but he just seems to keep on getting in his own way.
Kiffin is allegedly one of the greatest young minds in football and has always been considered to be somewhat of a boy wonder, but yet he seems to not only coach poorly, but has lost any confidence he might have had in every sense of the game, right down to speaking in front of the media.
He is the son of the legendary coordinator Monte Kiffin, but how much longer can he ride on that last name? Kiffin might need to walk away for a while and figure out what’s next. At this stage, perhaps it shouldn’t be coaching.