USC AD Pat Haden made official what many speculated was a matter of time when he fired coach Lane Kiffin early Sunday morning after the team arrived in Los Angeles from its charter flight.
Kiffin, in his fourth season, had been under heavy fire since his team underachieved horribly in 2012. The final straw came last night when Kiffin’s Trojans lost 62-41 at Arizona State.
Asked after the game if he worried about his job status, Kiffin said he had more important things to worry about – namely how to get his program to coach better.
Haden apparently had similar concerns. Ultimately, the AD decided “coaching better” would include having someone else formulate gameplans.
The Trojans, who were the preseason No. 1 team to open 2012, have now lost seven of their last 11 games with four of those losses coming to unranked opponents.
The Los Angeles Daily News reported that Haden made his decision while meeting with advisers during a third-quarter, 28-point run by Arizona State.
The loss to the Sun Devils marked the first time since 2001 that USC started conference play 0-2. That season marked the second of the Pete Carroll era and was the last year before Carroll turned the Trojans into the power of the Pac-12.
Haden is expected to hold a press conference later this afternoon.