Lane Kiffin apparently stayed at Ole Miss.
Or so he says. The Mississippi football coach responded on Monday to a report by local northern Mississippi television journalist John Sokoloff that he plans to leave the university on Friday to take up a head coaching position at Auburn. The report also stated that Auburn did not offer the job to anyone.
Per Kiffin: “That’s news to me, John.”
Shortly after, he tweeted his own “report” on Sokoloff.
Before his direct objections, Kiffin cryptically tweeted about the Egg Bowl, Mississippi’s annual rivalry with the state of Mississippi. This game is scheduled for Thursday, the day before Sokoloff announced that Kiffin was leaving Oxford.
It’s unclear what Kiffin meant in the Egg Bowl tweet. Similarly, he uses emoji in his denial tweet. But one thing is clear. Kiffin was not pleased with Sokoloff’s report. Whether he’s upset because it’s not true, or because the news came out early, he’ll have to wait.
Kiffin’s connection to Auburn is not surprising. A career nomad, Kiffin has worked six jobs since he first became head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2007. employees in Alabama after unceremoniously dropped by USC in 2013.
The fourth season at Ole Miss will be the longest of his career. Meanwhile, his name has been around since Auburn fired Brian Harsin on Halloween after starting 3-5. He asked about the job earlier on Monday.
“I mean, I don’t know what else to say,” Kiffin told reporters at his press conference on Monday. “I am very happy here, as we just said. The difference is where this program is now compared to three years ago and I feel like we have really good support.”
Of course, if Kiffin had confirmed his departure to the opponent’s program a week earlier, and the game remained on the schedule, he would have been the first coach to do so. Until his departure or decision to stay is actually confirmed, it’s best to take all the SEC noise with a grain of salt.