Putting an end to the offensive coordinator search
USC hired Lane Kiffin as its head coach in January. This was followed by a brief search by the athletic department for an offensive coordinator, which led to Norm Chow passing on the opportunity to return. Since then, staff positions have been filled, but from a public perspective, the program still lacked offensive leadership.
We waited for new names to surface and interviews to be conducted. We watched as new staff members accepted positions to be determined, and each time wondered if this was the one. Those outside of the program were on a personal coaching search, unaware that Southern California had hired their man on the same day Kiffin returned to Los Angeles.
Lane Kiffin will multitask in 2010, performing duties as both head coach and offensive coordinator. Though it may come as a surprise to those that embarked on an OC quest, Kiffin basically confirmed this months ago, when he told a local radio audience that he would call the majority of plays this upcoming season. I suppose it was either disbelief or resentment of the thought that made some of us continue to search on our own. As for myself, it’s easily the latter.
Kiffin’s double-duty isn’t comparable to Pete Carroll doing the same during his time at USC. One man was a master of his trade, whereas the other is barely establishing himself as gridiron leader. Kiffin shared the coordinator duties with Steve Sarkisian in 2005-2006, appearing as the eye in the sky to Sark’s sideline operations.
2005 also holds significance, in regard to Pete Carroll. It was at the conclusion of this season, after fielding one of his poorest defenses, that he hired Nick Holt to coordinate. He regained complete control of the unit last year, upon Holt’s departure to Washington, and we witnessed defensive regression for a second time. All the pieces can be set in place, but sometimes it takes a dissenting opinion to perfect a scheme.
Kiffin will have complete autonomy, void of nay-sayers and second guessing. This makes for a situation even more scary than the thought of a Jeremy Bates return, but I will cross my fingers and hope for the best.