After failing to land Southern California assistant head coach Steve Sarkisian, the Oakland Raiders reached an agreement in principle on Monday to hire Trojans offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, ESPN.com has learned.
Kiffin accepted a five-year deal to be Art Shell's replacement. Late last week, Kiffin was offered the offensive coordinator job under Sarkisian. But Sarkisian turned down Oakland's offer, and the Raiders were left scrambling.
On Sunday, Raiders owner Al Davis reached out again to Kiffin, son of Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Kiffin flew to Oakland Sunday night and spent all day Monday talking to Davis. As the evening approached, negotiations for a contract started and concluded quickly.
The 31-year-old Kiffin has been a six-year member of Pete Carroll's staff. Carroll hired him to coach tight ends in 2001. Kiffin switched to coaching wide receivers in 2002. In 2004, Kiffin took over passing game coordinator duties. Kiffin was then promoted to offensive coordinator in 2005. He also had recruiting coordinator responsibilities.
Davis has a long history of hiring young, offensive-minded head coaches and he particularly likes offensive play-callers. Kiffin has done that at the highest level of college football for the past few years. He's worked with top NFL draft prospects such as wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett and former Lions first-round pick Mike Williams, another wideout.
Kiffin spent the 2000 season in Jacksonville as a defensive quality control coach working with defensive backs.
As a player, Kiffin was a quarterback for Fresno State from 1994 to 1996. He was a three-sport high school star in Bloomington, Minn. He started his coaching career after college working as a grad assistant at Fresno State.
Kiffin is expected to keep Rob Ryan as his defensive coordinator.