Editor's note: this is not the consensus opinion of the staff, and we will be profiling many other candidates.
With the Miami Hurricanes having fired Al Golden from his position as Head Coach, there has been much conversation about who should replace him. Here at SOTU, we've profiled several of the available options.
And, while there have been many good options that have been discussed, the one true option, the best available option, has yet to be brought up.
Ladies and gentlemen, I beseech you to embrace your inner jerk, to put up the double birds to the competition, to walk tall, talk loud, and not care at all about the impression your brash actions give others. I'm here to tell you that the man to lead the Miami Hurricanes back to prominence as the next head coach is the one, the only, the hated Alabama Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin.
All About Kiffin
Unlike the first candidate I profiled (Memphis Coach Justin Fuente), Kiffin is a known commodity who has the name, experience, and caché that most Canes fans are looking for in the next Head Coach.
Some quick facts about Kiffin:
- Been around the game his whole life. His father is legendary Dfensive Coordinator Monty Kiffin (architect/innovator of the Tampa-2 defense).
- Years of experience at major programs and in the NFL. Has held positions as TE coach at USC, WR coach, OC at USC, Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders, Head Coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, Head Coach of the USC Trojans, and, currently, the OC at Alabama.
- 35-21 record as USC's coach.
- He, like Fuente, is a young coach at age 40.
- Renowned for his ability to recruit
- Finalist for the Broyles Award (top CFB assistant coach) in 2014.
- Clearly an offensive coach, Kiffin has directed USC and now Alabama to great offensive success in recent years.
- I'll say this one again: HE IS A RECRUITING MACHINE. Few coaches have his ability to close on top talent on the recruiting trail.
Embrace your inner jerk
I said this on the radio a couple times this week (humblebrag), but Miami has always been a hated program. Nobody will love us but us. We've always been the black sheep. We were never supposed to be a dominant program, or even one that was marginally relevant. At every turn, the Miami Hurricanes have defied the system, and built a brand that is among the most recognizable in sports.
By being jerks.
For the past few years, the administration at Miami, from University President Donna Shalala to Athletic Directors Kirby Hocutt and Blake James, have tried to distance Miami from that brash and emotionally charged persona.
That is a mistake.
Miami needs to embrace the hate and use it as fuel. When the Canes have been good, they've played with an edge, a bravado, a...dare I say...SWAGGER that only comes from supreme self confidence, even to the point of cockiness.
Grantland wrote a piece about the traits the next Canes coach should possess. What was the FIRST THING they said? "Kiffin's Bravado". So, instead of getting somebody with bravado/swagger/jerkdom kinda sorta like Lane Kiffin, we should go get the real thing.
Yes, this brash über self confidence is going to make other fanbases mad. The haters, as they say, will be hating in full force. But, to quote the great Kanye West (himself a noted jerk), "if they hate then let 'em hate and watch the money pile up".
Miami needs to embrace their inner jerk nature. And Lane Kiffin, a noted jerk (and I mean that sincerely as a compliment), is just the coach to help them do that.
Previous failures. Look, everybody has a past. And Kiffin's is more colorful than most. I mean, how many coaches were called off the team bus, fired on the spot, and left at the airport after being fired? He's been a good but not great coach at his other destinations. With a 35-21 record, he's got a better record than either of Miami's previous coaches through 54 games, but not by THAT much. So, it's not guaranteed that things will change with Kiffin in Coral Gables.
Bravado. Yes, this is a blessing and a curse for Kiffin. He's a polarizing figure. Some love his brash demeanor, others hate it. And, if too many people WHO MATTER hate it, then that could be come a problem.
Lack of connection to Miami. Kiffin is an outsider to the Miami world. He's not a former player. He's not a former coach. He's not a person with any serious connection to the problem. And, with many people calling for the Canes to hire somebody "from the Hurricane family", Kiffin doesn't fit the bill.
Lane Kiffin has the "big name" that Miami fans want the next head coach to have. He's led USC to a 10 win season, and is an ace recruiter. He's developed as a game planner and play caller in his 2 years at Alabama, and he's ready to return to the spotlight.
And most of all, and I mean this in the best way possible, Lane Kiffin is a jerk. He's not the jerk Miami wants, but he's the jerk Miami needs to lead the Canes back into prominence.
And that's why Alabama Crimson Tide Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin should be hired as the next Head Coach of the Miami Hurricanes.