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Mike Garrett talks about the Lane Kiffin hiring

January 12, 2010 |  7:18 pm

Tennessee's Lane Kiffin has been named the next head coach at USC, and Athletic Director Mike Garrett is excited about it.

USC-logo "We are really excited to welcome Lane Kiffin back to USC,” Garrett said. “I was able to watch him closely when he was an assistant with us, and what I saw was a bright, creative young coach who I thought would make an excellent head coach here if the opportunity ever arose. I'm confident he and his staff will keep USC football performing at the high level that we expect.”

The 34-year-old Kiffin is one of Pete Carroll's top disciples from his nine-year tenure at USC. Kiffin, a former Fresno State quarterback, worked his way up to offensive coordinator in 2005 while also showing impressive skills as the Trojans' recruiting coordinator after Ed Orgeron's departure from USC.

For two seasons, Kiffin shared responsibility for the Trojans' offense with fellow longtime Carroll assistant Steve Sarkisian, who left USC to take over at Washington after the 2008 season.

Lane Kiffin's father, defensive coach Monte Kiffin, and Oregeron also will leave Tennessee to join him, USC said in a statement.

“Ed did a marvelous job during his previous time at USC, and we all know that Monte is a defensive guru,” Garrett said. “I know Lane will fill out his staff with other outstanding assistants like them, ones who Trojan players and fans will really like.”

Lane Kiffin's contract calls for him to pay an $800,000 buyout for leaving Tennessee after only one season.

-- Houston Mitchell

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