clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lane Kiffin returning to Alabama, school announces

The Alabama offensive coordinator was reportedly the 49ers' first choice for the same position.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Lane Kiffin will return to Alabama, the school announced Saturday. The former NFL and college head coach was previously considered the frontrunner for the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator job, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Kiffin was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 2007 to 2008. He was the youngest coach in Raiders' history, but his 5-15 record and clashes with management led to Al Davis firing him early in the 2008 season. Kiffin returned to college football -- he started as an assistant at USC -- as the head coach at Tennessee in 2009. He left after just one season to take the head coaching job at USC. In the middle of his fourth season at his alma mater, Kiffin was fired after a 62-41 loss to Arizona State.

He took over the offensive coordinator spot at Alabama under Nick Saban for the 2014 season, leading the Tide to the No. 1 seed in the inaugural College Football Playoff. The Alabama offense saw a spark in creativity under Kiffin, and wideout Amari Cooper was the best receiver in college football.

The 49ers named Jim Tomsula as head coach earlier this month. He served as the defensive line coach since 2007. Now filling his staff, he's looking to bolster an offense led by Colin Kaepernick.

When Kiffin's candidacy was first announced for the position, Rob Chudzinski was rumored to be in the running as well. Currently with the Colts, Chudzinski was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2013 after stints with the Carolina Panthers (offensive coordinator) and San Diego Chargers (tight ends coach). The Browns were 4-12 in Chudzinski's one year with the team.