Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin Confirms Return to Alabama

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin Confirms Return to Alabama

Article excerpt

Once just wasn't enough.

Not for fans, who learned to love the man they once disliked with such fervor. Not for offensive skill position players, who benefit under an almost unparalleled offensive mind. Not for the Nick Saban, who saw his program set offensive records.

And once just wasn't enough for Lane Kiffin, who put a week's worth of rumors to bed Saturday afternoon by dedicating at least one more season to the University of Alabama as offensive coordinator.

Kiffin agreed to a three-year contract last January but various media reports within the past week had the 39-year-old coach as the "frontrunner" for the San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator job.

With his announcement that he'll return for 2015, Kiffin and Saban can turn their full attention to closing the recruiting season out strong before figuring out a way to replace a starting quarterback (Blake Sims), who authored the best single-season passing year in school history, a wide receiver (Amari Cooper) that set nearly every receiving record in program history and one of the best running backs (T.J. Yeldon) in school history.

"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," Kiffin said in a university- released statement. 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 turned Sims, an afterthought quarterback at the beginning of the season, into a strength of the Crimson Tide offense, and rode Cooper to a historic season.

No one pegged Sims as the starting quarterback coming out of spring practice, but Kiffin helped mold him into one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC. Sims threw for 3,487 yards and 28 touchdowns, completing 65 percent of his passes.

Cooper finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in a season in which he set a conference record for receptions in a single season with 124. …

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