Lane Kiffin’s SEC career is filled with peaks and valleys, fun moments and heated arguments, but no one can argue he’s a polarizing figure.
And based on this story by SB Nation’s Steven Godfrey, in which Ed Orgeron goes into great detail to recount how he secured the LSU head coaching job, Kiffin has become a highly influential figure as well.
In Orgeron’s incredible account of how he became LSU’s head coach, he discusses how after learning through his own intuition that he was in clearly in second place in the race, he and his fellow coaches from across the nation put on the full-court recruiting press.
“‘Got calls going into Joe. Pete [Carrol] called him, Lane [Kiffin] called him, bang bang bang,’ Orgeron said. So you start recruiting your own AD? ‘Oh ho, yeah baby. We got it rolling. Joe had been a friend of ours. But he had a job to do. We understood.'”
Orgeron interviewed with LSU athletic director Joe Alleva the day after Thanksgiving, and he went to bed that night reserved to likely having lost out to Tom Herman, Houston’s then head coach who was also in serious contention to replace Charlie Strong at Texas. He got a text a 1:30 in the morning, from Kiffin.
“‘Herman leaving to coach Texas.'”
‘”I looked at it, and you know what? I went right back to sleep, man.,'” Orgeron said.
Alleva offered Orgeron the job later that same morning. And he was certain who his offensive coordinator would be, but he was also aware of a caveat.
“Kiffin was definitely coming to LSU from Alabama to be the Tigers’ offensive coordinator, per multiple, multiple sources,” according to Godfrey. “And per Orgeron, who’d included Kiffin’s name as OC on a projected coaching staff during his interview.”
“‘I know probably — and I can’t blame them — I know that Alabama probably didn’t want him to come here,'” Orgeron said. “‘I’m assuming they did everything they could to get him a head job.’
But he was honest with us. He said, ‘Coach, I’m coming to LSU unless I get a head job, and I want a head job.
“‘We thought he had the Houston job,’ Orgeron continued. ‘He woulda been dynamite there. Dynamite. Then we hear about Florida Atlantic, and we didn’t think he’d take that. But he calls and says, ‘Hey man, I’m coming. I’ve got one more meeting, and I’m just going to listen to them.’ Ended up, he took the job.'”
Orgeron and LSU then won the bidding war for talented OC Matt Canada, who will have high expectations in his first season in Baton Rouge. But, oh, what could have been — Lane Kiffin running the offense in Death Valley.
The post How Lane Kiffin helped Ed Orgeron get the LSU job then almost became his offensive coordinator appeared first on SEC Country.
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