OXFORD, Miss. (WLBT) - Ole Miss welcomed its new head football coach in a big way Monday.
Lane Kiffin takes over for Matt Luke, who was dismissed after an Egg Bowl loss to Mississippi State.
Kiffin has spent the last three years at Florida Atlantic University, where he led the Owls to two Conference USA championships, including one in 2019.
Kiffin was introduced by Chancellor Glenn Boyce and Athletic Director Keith Carter.
Boyce said he was proud of Carter for the hire, noting that Kiffin fit the criteria Boyce wanted for a head coach: a proven track record, knowledge of the SEC, and the ability to take over a room.
Carter called Kiffin an innovator who’s engineered some of the most creative and high-powered offenses in college football.
Carter was also impressed with Kiffin’s time at FAU, where he turned a struggling program into a conference champion.
He also said Kiffin has a championship pedigree, and has worked with some of the best coaches in the sport, including his father Monte.
“Ten years ago we left the SEC, and now we’re coming back,” Kiffin said, recalling his time as head coach at Tennessee.
Kiffin professed his love for the SEC, saying there was something missing during his time at FAU.
“There’s football, and then there’s the SEC,” he said.
Kiffin said the partnership will take the program to a national level. He says he’ll go across the country to find the best players.
He said his time under great coaches like Pete Carroll and Nick Saban has made him a better coach. He was also quick to remind the crowd of Alabama’s two losses to Ole Miss during his time with the Crimson Tide.
His first stint as a head coach, he said was done with an offensive coordinator mindset. He believes his time under Saban has helped him develop player-coach relationships and made him better with things other than Xs and Os.
He says he’s going to build the program on old school principles with a new school mindset, which includes using analytics and new programs and always evolving.