Lane Kiffin update following the news that Houston has hired Major Applewhite. The LSU and USF jobs are still in play for Kiffin.
The Houston Cougars and Lane Kiffin will not be a thing after all. Houston has decided to promote from within, naming offensive coordinator Major Applewhite its new head coach.
The talk surrounding Kiffin will now shift focus to the open USF head coaching and LSU offensive coordinator positions.
According to Ross Dellenger of The Advocate, Kiffin is interested in the Bulls’ job, which is believed to be the last barrier between him and the Tigers’ gig. There’s also the possibility that Kiffin remains in Tuscaloosa in hopes of different openings down the road.
“The [LSU] program feels strongly that Kiffin will leave Alabama and join the Tigers staff if he does not get a head coaching job this offseason,” Dellenger reported on Friday.
In addition to Kiffin being attached to the USF opening, the Bulls are also reportedly interested in former Texas head coach Charlie Strong, Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, and Florida State co-offensive coordinator Lawrence Dawsey.
Multiple reports surfaced on Thursday evening that Strong was being actively pursued to fill the void left by Willie Taggart, who was named Oregon’s new head coach earlier this week.
Strong is reportedly visiting USF on Friday.
For Kiffin, the position would potentially be a match made in heaven. It’s a job without the microscope of elite programs, allowing him to continue to develop, like he has under Nick Saban, and build towards the big stage again. He’ll also have the luxury of recruiting one of the country’s most talent-rich states in an area with which he’s familiar. His dad was the Buccaneers defensive coordinator from 1996-2008 and created the popular Tampa 2 defensive scheme that helped lead Tampa Bay to its only Super Bowl title.
During the College Football Playoff media session prior to Thursday evening’s award ceremonies, Saban was non-comital on Kiffin’s status.
“As far as I know, I don’t think anything’s been decided, officially,” Saban said during the roundtable.
“We’ll make a decision when we have something to make a decision about. We’ll do what’s best for Lane.”