By Jess Nicholas, TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief
Jan. 10, 2014
Alabama hired former Southern Cal and Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin as its new offensive coordinator Friday, quickly filling the vacancy left when Doug Nussmeier left Alabama for the same job at Michigan.
“We are excited to have Lane join our staff,” said Alabama head coach Nick Saban in a statement released by the university. “He is an outstanding and creative offensive coach who has great experience both at the college and NFL level. He has a very good understanding of the game and I have always been impressed with what I saw in the games he called. He coaches with a great deal of passion and enthusiasm, and also does an excellent job as a teacher. Lane will be an outstanding addition to our coaching staff and we look forward to him and his family joining us at the University of Alabama.”
Kiffin’s hiring put a quick end to speculation about the job. Former Alabama wide receiver coach Mike Groh, University of Miami offensive coordinator James Coley and current Alabama wide receiver coach Billy Napier were also believed to have been under consideration.
Kiffin’s background in pro-style and West Coast offensive systems would not mark much of a change for Alabama, which currently uses elements of both under its multiple, pro-style banner. In his days at Southern Cal and Tennessee, Kiffin’s system made greater use of running backs as receivers, and especially the fullback position, than has Alabama’s offense the past two years under Nussmeier.
It isn’t clear what changes, if any, Kiffin will bring to Alabama’s current offensive system. Nick Saban has hinted at increasing the tempo of the offense, and Kiffin has experience with an up-tempo version of the pro-set.