All signs point to Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin taking over as the next head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels, and SEC fans are giddy with excitement that Kiffin will be coaching in a relevant conference again.
There are many reasons Kiffin’s return to a major program is a joyous reunion. For one, he is hilarious. He’s offered a 6-month-old baby boy a college football scholarship as well as the 11-year-old son of a Heisman Trophy winner. Plus, he’s not afraid to say what’s on his mind.
While we’re all celebrating what should be an interesting hire — even Kiffin’s son, Knox, was fired up about a return to the conference where it just means more — some are not so thrilled for Kiffin to touch down in Oxford, Mississippi.
In fact, one prominent football coach called to tell Kiffin not to take the Ole Miss head coaching job.
What Ed Orgeron Told Lane Kiffin
According to Parish Alford of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron advised against his friend joining the Rebels.
“Daily Journal sources said Orgeron told Kiffin a certain “fit” was required to coach at Ole Miss, and he didn’t think his long-time friend had that fit,” wrote Alford in the Daily Journal.
That is… rich considering Mr. Orgeron went 10-25 as Ole Miss’ head coach from 2005-07. Of course, the fiery and rambunctious Orgeron’s fortunes have changed since he took over at LSU, where he’s 37-9 over the last four seasons and has coached the Tigers to an SEC Championship Game against the Georgia Bulldogs and likely College Football Playoff berth this season.
Kiffin and Orgeron became friends while coaching under Pete Carroll at USC from 2001-04, when the Trojans won back-to-back national championships.
Orgeron accepted the Ole Miss job afterward, and in 2007, Kiffin was hired as head coach of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders despite being just 31 years old.
Kiffin spent one season as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, four of the USC Trojans and three as an assistant/offensive coordinator for the Alabama Crimson Tide under Nick Saban before becoming the FAU coach in 2017. Controversy has followed Kiffin nearly every step of his career.
Under Kiffin, the Owls won the Conference USA Championship Game and finished 11-3 in 2017 before a disappointing 5-7 mark in 2018. Florida Atlantic returned to the Conference USA title game against UAB in 2019, however, after a 9-3 regular season record.
Kiffin’s name had been thrown around for multiple NCAA jobs, including Arkansas, Mississippi State and Florida State (though it appears their coaching search will end with Memphis’ Mike Norvell).
ESPN has reported Kiffin’s finalizing the Ole Miss deal and he’s all but a lock to leave Boca Raton and replace former Mississippi coach Matt Luke, who won 15 of 36 games in three years. Orgeron may not be excited, but I’m sure everyone else can’t wait.