Kennedy Polamalu becomes fourth to exit USC
The 2012 football season may have ended weeks ago, but we continue to see the fallout from a disappointing 7-6 season. Kennedy Polamalu became the most recent assistant coach to face the firing squad, as he was reportedly let go by Lane Kiffin on Friday.
Kiffin hired Polamalu away from the Tennessee Titans in 2010. The hiring sparked a lawsuit by former Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who claimed USC and its head coach wrongfully lured an assistant without first contacting his current employer. Polamalu was immediately named the new running backs coach for the Trojans, and though he was also labeled as offensive coordinator, it was Kiffin that fulfilled the playcalling duties.
USC ranked 25th in the nation as a rushing offense in Polamalu’s first year. It would slide to 51st in 2011, and further to 71st this past season. After a small gain in total offense from 2010 to 2011, the Trojan unit suffered a lapse in his final year, falling to a 41st overall ranking and 5th best in conference.
Polamalu was a favorite among players and the last member of the coaching staff to have actually played football at USC. He was instrumental in the recruitment of running back Ty Isaac, and the timing of the termination would indicate that the program purposely waited for the National Letters of Intent to come in before pulling the plug.
Southern California has now lost four staff members since the close of the season, with Polamalu following assistant head coach Monte Kiffin, defensive backs coach Marvin Sanders, and linebackers coach Scottie Hazleton out the door. The multiple moves also signify a head coach on the hot seat, altering his staff in hopes of securing a future.
Polamalu had long established himself as one of the best running back coaches in the country, and should have no trouble securing a new position elsewhere. My guess would be a return to the NFL, and a possible reunion with Jeff Fisher in St. Louis.