Before the Ole Miss Rebels had Lane Kiffin as their head coach, he was like a handful of other renowned college football coaches: under the wing of the legendary Nick Saba at Alabama. Why was he hired by Saban?
Suffice it to say, the two coaches remain linked to each other, even if they’re across the field from each other.
Alabama beat No. 15 Ole Miss 24-10 on Saturday.
Why did Nick Saban hire Lane Kiffin?
Saban hired Kiffin to be the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator in 2014 after Kiffin was fired as the USC Trojans head coach in September 2013. Saban gave Kiffin a chance to breathe new life into his career, and Kiffin helped update Alabama’s offense.
Kiffin’s hiring was an excellent fit for Alabama. That’s because his offensive schemes were almost always among the best.
However, the benefits to Saban hiring Kiffin as Alabama OC were almost instantaneous. When asked about being taken under the wing of the iconic college football coach (via ESPN):
“I remember him saying, ‘I feel like our offense is a Lamborghini, but it’s headed off a cliff,’ meaning we’ve got these great players, but are behind the times in what we’re doing. So, we needed to change directions.”
And change directions, things did. That season, Alabama’s offense was as deadly as ever.
Of course, the team eventually ended up winning the 2015 national championship (and Derrick Henry won the 2015 Heisman Trophy) with Kiffin at the helm of the offense. Alabama also won the 2017 national title, with Kiffin departing to become the head coach of Florida Atlantic.
Alabama could surely use someone like Lane Kiffin right now
The Crimson Tide remain among the most celebrated programs in college football history. They still have Nick Saban as their coach. But there are troubles in Tuscaloosa, particularly on the offensive side.
Alabama’s offense has been struggling during the first few weeks. Their quarterback situation, specifically with QB1 Jalen Milroe, has been off-kilter.
Alabama (3-1) is ranked No. 12.