If you ever thought the pressure of coaching at USC might get to head coach Lane Kiffin, you might have been right. Kiffin admitted that he has at least mulled the idea of coaching at a lower profile school, or even a high school, in an interview with Ralph Russo of the Associated Press.
“I did think the other day what it would be like to be a high school head coach or to be at a small school,” Kiffin said in the AP story. “I thought about it the other day. The first time. I wonder if there’s something to that peace of mind. Maybe it’s something I can go back and do when I get older. I’m going to go coach high school.”
Kiffin is entering his fourth year at USC, where he has coached the Trojans to a 25-13 record after one season in the SEC with Tennessee. Last season the Trojans entered the season as the preseason number one team in the AP Top 25 but Kiffin and USC quickly dropped in the polls and ended the season on the outside of the top 25 polls with a loss in the Sun Bowl against ACC Championship runner-up Georgia Tech. Although USC is still sifting through the impact of NCAA sanctions, including a reduction in scholarships and a two-year postseason ban, the bar was set high for Kiffin and the Trojans and they failed to clear it in miserable fashion in 2012.
“It’s just the game,” Kiffin says. “It’s the game in its realest sense and it’s fun. Working with the kids and not all this other stuff. You go back and have fun.”
The last thing Kiffin will be focusing on this season is his job security, although it certainly appears to be on stilts ready to tumble.
“I’m not going to start getting into those things,” USC Athletics Director Pat Haden said in the AP story. “I’m not going to make any pronouncements. Let’s just enjoy the season.”
season kicks off on the road with a trip to Hawaii on August 29. If all goes according to plan, the Trojans will play in their first Pac 12 championship game on December 7. If the Trojans fail to play in that game, Kiffin could very well be preparing for a coach a smaller profile school after all. Should Kiffin be removed as head coach, his profile should finally take enough of a hit to keep him out of the running for a high profile job.