Southern California assistant head coach Monte Kiffin will resign from his son’s coaching staff after a miserable season for the Trojans’ defense.
Monte Kiffin announced in a news release Thursday night that he will leave USC after the Trojans’ undetermined bowl game next month to pursue a return to the NFL.
“I wanted to make this announcement now so that our players who are preparing for the bowl game and our recruits who will be visiting campus are aware,” Monte Kiffin said in a statement. “The chance to work for my son, Lane, was unique and memorable, but we always treated each other professionally on a coach-to-coach basis. Although things didn’t always go as well as we would have liked this year from a defensive and win-loss standpoint … I see great things ahead for the USC football program.”
Monte Kiffin, 72, is considered one of the most influential defensive coaches in recent football history, most notably constructing the famed Tampa 2 defense during his tenure as the Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator.
After 13 years at Tampa Bay, Monte Kiffin teamed up with his son at the University of Tennessee during the 2009 season, and then went along when Lane Kiffin abruptly left the Volunteers to return to USC three years ago.
But Monte Kiffin received withering criticism for USC’s defensive performance this season. USC yielded 178 points while losing four of its final five games this season, plummeting out of the Top 25 after beginning the season at No. 1.
“I respect my father’s decision and his desire to return to the NFL,” Lane Kiffin said. “We are very appreciative of the hard work and effort that he put in at USC these past three years.”
RIVALRY TO RETURN
Nebraska and Oklahoma will renew one of the greatest rivalries for two seasons after the schools signed a contract that will have the Cornhuskers and Sooners play in 2021 in Norman, Okla., and in 2022 in Lincoln, Neb.
Both games will be in September instead of the previous traditional Thanksgiving game.
The Huskers and Sooners played 71 consecutive seasons as members of the Big Six and Big Eight. The game decided the Big Eight championship 31 times in 36 seasons.
The teams moved to the Big 12 in 1996 and met twice every four years. Nebraska went to the Big Ten in 2011.
Oklahoma leads the series 45-38-3, having won the teams’ last meeting in the 2010 Big 12 championship game, 23-20.
Linebackers Jarvis Jones of Georgia, Manti Te’o of Notre Dame, Stanford’s Chase Thomas and Arthur Brown of Kansas State are the finalists for the Lott Trophy, given to the defensive player having the biggest impact on his team. … An Alabama man began serving a two-year prison sentence for an obscene act against an unconscious LSU fan in a Bourbon Street restaurant after the BCS national title game in January, a videotaped incident that went viral. Brian H. Downing, 33, pleaded guilty in October to two counts of obscenity after prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of sexual battery, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. … Southern Mississippi agreed to be the visiting team for its game against Nebraska next season in exchange for a $2.1 million paycheck. The Golden Eagles had been scheduled to host the Cornhuskers in Hattiesburg on Sept. 7, 2013. The game now will be played in Lincoln on the same date.