As Promised, Lane Kiffin Returning In 2015

Weren’t you listening? Prior to Alabama’s game against Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, reporters had an opportunity to talk to Crimson Tide Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin. He was asked if he would be at Alabama for the 2015 season.

“Definitely,” he answered.

Nevertheless, there was some doubt over the past few weeks because a sports cable television network reported that Alabama’s Lane Kiffin was the front-runner for the San Francisco 49ers position as offensive coordinator.

On Saturday, Kiffin remaining with the Crimson Tide was confirmed Saturday both by Bama Coach Nick Saban and by Kiffinn.

Kiffin said, “I made a comment at the Sugar Bowl that I would be back this fall at Alabama and that is definitely the plan. This time of year, there are lots of things out there regarding other coaching opportunities, but I want to reaffirm my commitment to The University of Alabama, Coach Saban, and our team. I’m excited about what our offensive staff was able to accomplish last year, but I also think there are a lot of things we can do a better job of in terms of putting our players in the best situation to have success.

“After being here for a year, I can see why this is such a special place in terms of the history, tradition, and how much football means to everyone at Alabama. I also have learned so much in the time I’ve spent with Coach Saban and really have a better understanding of what makes him the great coach that he is. I think the more time I can spend learning from him, the better coach I will be in the future.”

Kiffin was a finalist for the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation’s top assistant coach. Alabama set a school record in 2014 for total offense of 6,783 yards, an average of 484.5 yards per game. The Crimson Tide ranked in the top 20 nationally in both scoring (36.9 points per game) and total offense last year.

Alabama went 12-2 and won the Southeastern Conference championship.

The return of Kiffin was considered important in part because of the outstanding job that he did in making Blake Sims such a productive quarterback. Sims, a fifth-year senior who had only mop-up duty in a couple of years as a back-up, completed 252 of 391 passes (64.5 per cent) for 3,487 yards and 28 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions.

Kiffin will be charged with developing a new quarterback for the 2015 season.

Saban said, “We’ve very pleased and happy that Lane is going to be staying here at The University of Alabama with us. He’s done a fabulous job and is one of the finest offensive coaches in the country. He is going to have plenty of opportunities in the future and we want to continue to help him develop as a coach so when he leaves here, he’ll be in a very good situation. Our offense was extremely productive last season and we look forward to building on some of the good things we did on that side of the ball with this year’s team.”

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