Following a disappointing season an racking-in severe criticism over the Trojans’ performance this season, University of Southern California assistant coach Mote Kiffin announced later on Thursday his decision to resign from the team. Monte Kiffin also hinted at a return to NFL coaching in the 2013 season.
The 74-year-old Monte Kiffin stated that he had a unique and memorable opportunity to work under his son (Lane Kiffin) at USC, but will be resigning after the Trojan’s bowl game next month.
"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," said Monte Kiffin. “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."
Widely acknowledged as one of the most prominent defensive coaches in the recent history of football, Monte Kiffin started an NFL coaching career with the Green Bay Packers in 1983, lasting with the team for only one season before taking on a linebackers coaching job with the Buffalo Bills. Monte Kiffin lasted down the road in NFL until 2008, when he jumped on a coaching opportunity with his son at the University of Tennessee for the 2009 season, before abruptly moving on from the Volunteers to the USC three years ago.
Monte Kiffin is most noted for devising the famed Tampa 2 defense, during his 13-year coaching tenure with Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a defensive coordinator.
However, Monte Kiffin couldn’t bring that kind of success to the USC, which spiraled down from its No.1 ranking all the way out of the Top 25 college football teams. The Trojans’ defensive woes generated huge criticism for Monte Kiffin’s cautious defensive philosophy that flopped against spread formations as well as high-volume offensive schemes, which are a familiar feature of modern-day college football. Monte Kiffin’s flexible-to-opposing-offense defensive schemes feature minimal blitzing and are heavily reliant on protection against deep passes and big plays.
The Trojans yielded 178 points while sustaining defeats in four of its last five games this season. During their 3rd November loss the Trojans posted the worst defensive game in USC’s history, giving up 62 points, 730 yards and nine touchdowns. Only a week earlier, the Trojans allowed Arkansas offense 613 yards in a 39-36 loss. USC’s cross-town rivals, UCLA also added to their humiliating streak by racking-up 513 yards in a 38-28 victory on 17th November.
However, Lane Kiffin has shared the blame for USC’s disappointing season amongst all of the coaching staff. And although Ed Orgeron officially holds the USC defensive coordinator title, Monte Kiffin has been primarily running schemes on that side of the ball relieving Orgeron for his work on the defensive line and as the Trojans’ recruiting coordinator.
"I respect my father's decision and his desire to return to the NFL. We are very appreciative of the hard work and effort that he put in at USC these past three years,” stated Lane Kiffin. “He has a tremendous passion for coaching young men, and he is a phenomenal recruiter.”
The Trojans are still striving make a run for their first bowl game since 2009, coming back from two-year postseason ban as part of NCAA sanctions.