On Friday night, news first came out that the USC Trojans were not bringing back running backs coach and the title holder of offensive coordinator, Kennedy Polamalu. USCFootball.com first reported the story, which quickly turned into players showing their frustration on Twitter, and word squeaking out that the move wasn’t a dismissal, per sources close to the coaching staff.
This afternoon, through the official blog on USCTrojans.com, head coach Lane Kiffin spoke to the matter, giving what will likely be his most revealing quote on Polamalu’s departure:
As we continue to evaluate all facets of our program, including the organization of our staff, we made the decision to go in a different direction at this coaching position. Kennedy Polamalu is a good coach, a good person and a good Trojan. We wish him and his family the best.
With Kiffin calling it as a push toward ‘a different direction’, does that mean that Kiffin is going to hire a true offensive coordinator? Or is he implying a dissatisfaction with Polamalu’s performance? Until a new hire is announced, those questions will likely remain unanswered.
Polamalu coached seven seasons at his alma mater, including this most recent three-year stretch under Kiffin. Shortly before coming to Los Angeles in 2010, he had been hired for a similar position with the Tennessee Titans at the NFL level, where he had coached since 2004. Due his ties to professional football, it’s widely believed that Polamalu will once again return to the NFL, but it’s still too early to tell.