During his previous collegiate coaching stint with the Trojans, Kiffin demonstrated strong offensive prowess as an assistant from 2001-04. He was promoted to passing game coordinator in 2004 and served as offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator for 2005 and 2006. USC led the nation in offense in 2005 and in both of his years as recruiting coordinator had the best recruiting classes in the nation. Those efforts helped the Trojans to back-to-back national college football championships and produced two Heisman Trophy winners -- Matt Leinart in 2004 and Reggie Bush in 2005.
"Over the past few weeks, we have been on the road meeting with prospective coaches and talking to some of football's most influential and knowledgeable players and coaches about the future of the Tennessee football program," said UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton. "We have had unbelievable interest from great coaches. When it was all said and done, we felt like Lane Kiffin was a perfect fit for Tennessee. He's energetic, charismatic, consumed with recruiting and has had a lifelong love affair with football."
Kiffin began his coaching career at his alma mater, Fresno State, working with quarterbacks and wide receivers from 1997-98. He was an assistant at Colorado State in 1999, working with the offensive line, and made his first stop in the NFL as defensive secondary quality control coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2000.
Kiffin was a quarterback at Fresno State for three seasons (1994-96) and earned his bachelor's degree there in 1998.
A native of Bloomington, Minn., Kiffin is married to Layla Reaves Kiffin. They have two daughters: Landry (3) and Pressley (2), and are expecting a third child in January. His father, Monte, is the defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The elder Kiffin, a longtime NFL and collegiate assistant coach, served as North Carolina State's head coach in the early 1980s.