After a full day and a half of speculation, we have some relatively concrete news. ESPN is reporting that Lane Kiffin has been hired as the Tide's new offensive coordinator.
This is far from a shock, given the prevalence of reports that Kiffin has been in Tuscaloosa since before the sugar bowl. Lane will be replacing outgoing coordinator Doug Nussmeier, who recently joined the Michigan staff.
Kiffin's hire will no doubt be met with mixed emotions by many of the Tide faithful, as he developed quite a negative reputation during his short stint as head coach of Tennessee. As someone that was as anti-Kiffin as anyone on the planet in '09, let me say that I have really warmed to this development over the past few days. While serving as offensive coordinator at USC, Kiffin helmed an offense that set multiple NCAA records, and showed a propensity for spreading the ball around an offense loaded with talent.
Feel free to share your congratulations (or weeping/gnashing of teeth) in the comments.
Statements have been released by both Saban and Kiffin confirming the hire.
Nick Saban :
"We are excited to have Lane join our staff. He is an outstanding and creative offensive coach who has great experience both at the college and NFL level. He has a very good understanding of the game and I have always been impressed with what I saw in the games he called. He coaches with a great deal of passion and enthusiasm, and also does an excellent job as a teacher. Lane will be an outstanding addition to our coaching staff and we look forward to him and his family joining us at The University of Alabama."
"We want to thank The University of Alabama and Coach Saban for this tremendous opportunity, and we feel humbled and honored to be a part of the Crimson Tide family. I've always had the utmost respect for what Coach Saban has done with his programs. Having the unique opportunity to be here last month, I was able to meet some of the great players and the great people in the organization, and I'm very excited to start working with them. We've seen the passion and support of the Alabama fans firsthand, and when that's combined with the storied history and tradition of the program, this is a very special place to coach."
Also, be sure to check out the Crimson and White's write-up on Kiffin's credentials.