He’s got an unbroken record of success. He was an outstanding Head Coach for the Raiders, winning 5 out of 20 games over the course of 1.5 years. Kiffin wanted to stay with the Raiders, but owner Al Davis felt that his team had an unfair advantage over the rest of the NFL and tearfully asked Kiffin to leave.
With his outstanding professional record it was inevitable that a high profile college team would come calling…. and when Tennessee called, Kiffin answered. Kiffin showed incredible poise, class, and excellence while leading the Volunteers to a Tennessee state championship and to the Chik-Filet Bowl, where they lost a squeaker to Virginia Tech 14-37 to finish their stellar campaign with a record of 7-6. Kiffin realized that he had brought the Volunteers back to the NCAA elite and decided another team needed his unique talents, and departed for the football wilderness of Southern California.
It’s understandable why the Trojans would hire the young and talented coach. The Trojans were in the NCAA football hinterland, having not experienced any success under the previous coach, Carroll O’Connor (or something like that). USC was hoping that Kiffin would lead the Trojans to success, and he didn’t disappoint, going 5-5 vs BCS level teams his first year. Since then Kiffin has led the Trojans to ever more success, including an invitation to the prestigious Sun Bowl which the Trojans barely lost to the mighty 6-7 George Tech Yellowjackets by only 2 touchdowns.
Kiffin’s future is bright. He’s probably the most highly regarded coach in the NCAA. USC Athletic Director Pat Haden repeatedly praises Kiffin’s excellent work ethic and maturity, and with good reason. If I was Pat Haden I’d try to lock Kiffin into a longterm contract before another team attracts Kiffin’s eye.