Monte Kiffin leaving USC, will pursue NFL opportunities

Jason O. Watson / US Presswire
Monte Kiffin (left) was defensive coordinator at USC for his son, Trojans coach Lane Kiffin.

There are many famous examples of big-name college football coaches who couldn't make it at the pro level. Monte Kiffin had the problem in reverse.

The USC defensive coordinator announced Thursday that he will resign after the Trojans' bowl game to pursue opportunities in the NFL.

"I wanted to make this announcement now so that our players who are preparing for the bowl game and our recruits who will be visiting campus are aware," Kiffin, the longtime Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator, said in a statement released by USC. "I really enjoyed my time at USC and the opportunity I had to work with our players and coaches. The chance to work for my son, Lane, was unique and memorable, but we always treated each other professionally on a coach-to-coach basis.

"Although things didn't always go as well as we would have liked this year from a defensive and win-loss standpoint, I will leave USC with the utmost respect for the University, the Trojan Family and, most importantly, the players I had the good fortune to coach."

Kiffin essentially saved his son from having to fire him. The architect of the Tampa 2 defense shouldn't have trouble finding a job in the NFL and might be able to someday return the favor of hiring his son as a lower-level assistant if USC continues its downward spiral.

Then again, Lane Kiffin's jobs usually only get better every time he fails. Next stop, New England?

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.