Kiffin surprise coaching pick at USC

January 13, 2010, 8:27 AM HST · Updated January 13, 8:27 AM
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By Fred Guzman

MauiNow.com

Nine years ago, when USC last named a football coach, his appointment was greeted with disdain by most of the Los Angeles media.

Yesterday, when Lane Kiffin was named to replace the now venerated Pete Carroll, his departure from Tennessee sparked anger across an entire state and elicited mixed reviews in LA.

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We’ll have to wait a few years, as was the case following Carroll’s hiring, before we truly know whether USC athletic director Mike Garrett did the right thing.

But this we can agree on: Garrett threw most of us a curve in hiring Kiffin, who continued a pattern of duplicity among college football coaches by bailing out after just 14 months on the job.

At the age of 34, Kiffin has developed quite a reputation, and not all of it positive. Kiffin was just 31 when he was hired to coach the Oakland Raiders, only to be fired after going 5-15 and being called a liar by owner Al Davis.

In his short stint at Tennessee, Kiffin led the Vols to a 7-6 record and compiled nearly as many minor NCAA violations – six — as victories.

Now he’s off again, this time returning to LA, bringing along his father, Monte, to run the defense, bringing back Ed Ogeron to run the recruiting operation, trying to lure back Norm Chow from in-city rival UCLA to run the offense, and turning his back on Tennessee to run the Trojans.

RAINBOW HOOPS: When Idaho pays a visit tonight for a women’s basketball game at the Stan Sheriff Center, it will represent a homecoming FOR several members of the Vandals team and coaching staff.

First, the players: Three guards have roots in the Aloha State – sophomore Shaena-Lyn Kuehu as well as freshmen Kanisha Bello and Natasha Helshum. Kuehu was named to the WAC all-freshman team last season and her twin sister, Shawna-Lei, was starting for UH before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Both were standout players at Punahou.

Additionally, head coach Jon Newlee and assistant Gavin Peterson both previously served on Vince Goo’s staff at UH.

The Rainbow Wahine are 6-9 overall and 0-2 in the WAC.

MIL ROUNDUP: In hoops action last night, the Baldwin boys rallied to a 66-55 win at Maui High. The Lady Sabers romped to a 48-24 win over the Bears. The Lunas’ boys and girls visit Kekaulike tonight.

In soccer, Ayesha Pladera’s scored three goals for the league-leading Baldwin girls in a 5-0 win over Maui High. In the opener of a twinbill at War Memorial Stadium, Baldwin increased its lead in the D-I standings to two points over idle Kekaulike by rallying to a 2-2 deadlock with Maui High. Na Alii’s boys and girls play tonight against St. Anthony, while the Seabury boys host Kamehameha.

In other girls’ action yesterday, Kamehameha beat Seabury 2-0.

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