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Lane Kiffin Heading to USC

LOS ANGELES - Tennessee's Lane Kiffin is the surprise choice of Southern California to replace Pete Carroll as football coach. The hiring was announced by the school Tuesday night, hours after Carroll was introduced as coach of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

Kiffin, 34, is a disciple of Carroll, serving on his staff from 2001 to 2006. In his last two seasons at USC, Kiffin was the program's offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator.

"Lane brings a lot to the table," USC athletics director Mike Garrett said in a statement. "He has a coaching background both in the pros and in the best collegiate conferences. He has a great command of the X's and O's.

"He is familiar with the Trojan landscape and will be a great representative of our university. And, very importantly, he has proven to be one of the finest recruiters anywhere."

Kiffin left USC in 2007 to coach the Oakland Raiders, becoming the youngest coach in the NFL's modern era. He was fired in September 2008 after four games of his second season with a 5-15 overall record.

He then was hired by Tennessee, where he coached the Volunteers to a 7-6 record last season.

The move comes as a surprise because Kiffin had been in Knoxville for one season and because Tennessee has been found to have committed at least six secondary NCAA rules violations during his tenure.

The Trojans' program, meanwhile, has been under NCAA investigation since 2006, when allegations surfaced that 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and his family received improper benefits from a would-be marketing representative.

Kiffin will bring with him his father, longtime NFL defensive coach Monte Kiffin, and veteran assistant Ed Orgeron, a former USC defensive line coach. Both were on Tennessee's staff last season. USC has set an introductory news conference for today.

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