Lane Kiffin: ‘I’d Love To Be Back’ at Alabama in 2016
DALLAS -- Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said Sunday he would like to return for a third season with the Crimson Tide in 2016.
In a rare interview opportunity due to the required Cotton Bowl media schedule, Kiffin was asked about his future with the program, following the conclusion of Alabama's current season.
"I'd love to be back here," Kiffin said. "We'll have a new set of challenges with the third year of a new quarterback, a lot of great players. We'll replace a Heisman Trophy winner (Derrick Henry) just like we did a Biletnikoff winner (Amari Cooper) the year before and then some great returning players to work with. I'd be really excited about that."
Kiffin, who head coach Nick Saban hired in January 2014 after Doug Nussmeier left to take the same position with Michigan, chose to remain with the Crimson Tide heading into the 2015 season despite an offer to take the offensive coordinator job with the San Francisco 49ers late this past January. Alabama even released statements from both Kiffin and Saban, confirming his return after he made his decision.
"It just didn’t feel right," Kiffin said. "There was some opportunities last year, but it didn’t feel right. I’ve always kind of been somebody that whatever the challenge was, I didn’t care, I was going to accept it and not really think it through too much and just go.
"But he (Saban) really took a chance on me when the phone wasn’t ringing, for assistant coaching jobs it wasn’t two years ago. So I just felt like we didn’t really finish what we started last year and to see if we could go this year and finish how we should have finished last year and get him another championship."
Kiffin, though, who is 28-15 as a head coach in college across his time with Tennessee and USC, didn't go as far as to say he wouldn't consider a head coaching job again, if the opportunity arose for him in the future.
"I don't think there's many people who would ever answer the question, ‘I don't want to be a head coach,’" Kiffin said. "So when and if that time comes, I know I'm much better prepared than I was before because obviously having a chance to be with Coach Saban and learning from him."
Last month, 247Sports, in a report that was later recanted, linked Kiffin to the Maryland head coaching vacancy that has since been filled.
Kiffin signed a three-year contract with Alabama after he was hired in January 2014.
Currently, Alabama ranks 48th nationally in total offense as it prepares for its College Football Playoff semifinal matchup with Michigan State on Dec. 31 after finishing 18th at the end of last season. To Kiffin's credit, though, the offense was forced to make drastic changes in its style this season after an overhaul of personnel changes, including the departure of then-quarterback Blake Sims, over the offseason.
Watch the full Kiffin interview from Sunday below:
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