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Silence Of The Kiffin - How Lane Kiffin Got His Job With Alabama

The hire of Lane Kiffin as offensive coordinator raised a lot of eyebrows in the off season. The relative silence from Kiffin since being hired has left a lot of people wondering if he's figured out a way to keep his foot out of his mouth or if he's under a gag order from Saban.

John Radcliff
John Radcliff

Scene: Nick Saban's office shortly after Doug Nussmeier resigned as Alabama offensive coordinator.

Saban_quizzical_medium Shit!

Battle_medium (UA AD Bill Battle) What is it coach?

Saban_quizzical_medium Nussmeier just resigned. So now I gotta take time away from recruiting to do interviews.

Battle_medium Well look at it this way, coach. If you don't hire someone to run the offense you'll have to do it yourself. And that will take away from recruiting as well.

Saban_quizzical_medium (shakes fists at the sky) DAMN YOU, NUSSMEIER!!!!!!!!!!

Battle_medium It's a conundrum for sure, coach. But look, I don't wanna tell you how to do your job so I'm going to get out of here. Make sure it's a good hire, though. We don't want a repeat of last year...

Saban_quizzical_medium ...a repeat of last year? They wouldn't fire me if we don't win the title would they?

Saban_quizzical_medium Secretary, bring me my rolodex!

Secretary1_medium My name is Jane! Why won't you call me by my name?

Saban_smiles_medium It's a process. You just have to be patient.

Secretary1_medium I've been here seven years!

Saban_smiles_medium It's a long process.

Secretary1_medium Your rolodex is right beside the phone.

Saban_quizzical_medium Okay, let's see here. Beamer? Nope. Brown? Hehe, nope. Carr? God I loved his commitment to the run game. But nope. Dantoni? How the hell did he get in here? Crap! Let's start from the back

Saban_quizzical_medium Rodriguez? That invites too much trouble. Hmmmmm, Mike Leach. He's not doing anything right now, I think. (dials phone number)

Leachphone_medium Hello

Saban_quizzical_medium Coach Leach, this is coach Saban. I was calling to see if you had any interest in a job on my staff.

Leachphone_medium Hey coach. Thanks for the offer, but I've got a job.

Saban_quizzical_medium You do?

Leachphone_medium Yeah, I'm head coach at Washington St.

Saban_quizzical_medium Well crap! I need an offensive coordinator. Got any ideas?

Leachphone_medium Let's see...I know a guy with college and pro coaching experience that's not doing anything (giggles)

Saban_quizzical_medium Yeah?

Leachphone_medium Yeah! (covers phone while blowing snot bubbles)...his name is (catches breath) Lane...Kiffin.

Saban_quizzical_medium Oh come on, coach! He's been the fall guy at every job he's ever had. (stops to ponder what he just said)...Hey coach, I gotta run.

Saban_smiles_medium (calls Kiffin) Lane? This is coach Saban.


Kiffin1_medium Hey Nick how ya doing?

Saban_quizzical_medium It's coach Saban if you don't mind. Now, the reason I called is that I need an offensive coordinator and I couldn't think of anyo...you were the first name that came up. So what do you say? You want the job?

Kiffin1_medium Oh boy do I! Mom and dad will be so happy!

Saban_smiles_medium Yes, I'm sure they'll be very proud of you.

Kiffin1_medium No Mr. Saban. You don't understand. I've been living in their basement for the past year and let's just say we don't share the same taste in music or volume.

Saban_smiles_medium Got it. Anyhow, get your bags packed and get out here. We've got a lot of work to do before the season starts.

A couple days later

Saban_smiles_medium Lane, the way this is going to work is that I'll handle all communication with the media. Between now and the start of camp I want you to learn the playbook and watch film on the guys we have coming back. Get to know the guys on offense but don't talk too much. We're going to play this pretty close to the vest.

Kiffin1_medium Don't you want me to get out there and do some recruiting?

Saban_quizzical_medium Didn't I just tell you not to talk too much?

Kiffin1_medium Yes.

Saban_quizzical_medium And in order to recruit don't you have to talk?

Kiffin1_medium Yes.

Saban_smiles_medium Okay then. When the season rolls around I'm going to want you in the press box. But don't worry, there will be plenty of ice cream and video games for when the other team has the ball.

Kiffin1_medium Yea! I love ice cream! But don't you want me to work on drawing up some special plays or something, Mr. Saban?

Saban_quizzical_medium You just don't get it do you? All I want you to do is to follow the process as I've laid it out for you.

Kiffin1_medium Okay.

Saban_quizzical_medium Okay what?!

Kiffin1_medium Okay Mr. Saban.

Saban_quizzical_mediumNow get out of my sight.

Saban_smiles_medium (calls AD Battle) Bill I think I found our fall guy.

Battle_medium Yeah, I heard you hired Kiffin. Are you sure that's wise?

Saban_quizzical_medium If they come after me, they'll come after you too. At least this way we'll have someone to blame. Just make sure there's plenty of ice cream and video games in the coaches box upstairs and I'll have one of the graduate assistants take pictures of him during the games.

Battle_medium Sounds like you got this all figured out.

Saban_smiles_medium Yeah, it's all part of the process. We're golden.