Lane Kiffin gets left behind by Alabama team buses after big win

BY Bruce Feldman • January 12, 2016

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Alabama offensive coordinator had a huge hand in helping the Tide capture a national championship on Monday with a 45-40 win vs. the Clemson Tigers.

The least the Tide could have done in return was hold the team bus for him, right?

Apparently not:

In what surely will sound like the Most Lane Kiffin Thing Ever, Kiffin walked out of the University of Phoenix Stadium only to see the team’s four buses pulling away. Kiffin was in mid-sentence, talking about his relationship with Alabama QB Jake Coker — “My bus is leaving,” Kiffin said. “That’s not good.”

They can’t leave without Kiffin, could they?

“They’re leaving right now.”


Kiffin whistled to a security guard about 50 yards away to stop the last bus. He hustled after it, but it was to no avail. He and his younger brother, Chris — Ole Miss’ defensive line coach — were now stranded at the stadium.

“First, I get fired on the tarmac, and now I get left behind at the national championship,” Kiffin said, half-jokingly, referring to his USC ouster.

Kiffin tried to figure out what he and his brother were going to do for a ride. A TV camera followed him.

“Who is that guy?” a motorcycle cop just outside the stadium asked, observing the curious scene.

The cop, a local police officer, standing by his bike in front of a black Yukon, was unaware that Kiffin was the Tide’s play caller. As Kiffin returned, he headed for the backseat of the Yukon. It was waiting for his boss, Nick Saban.

The younger Kiffin brother conceded he’d never met Saban before (even though he’s coached against him and his team has beaten him each of the past two years).

Asked if he saw any irony in the moment — being left behind, Kiffin just shrugged. “Hey, it is what it is.”

Bruce Feldman is a senior college football reporter and columnist for and FS1. He is also a New York Times best-selling author. His new book, “The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks,” came out in October 2014. Follow him on Twitter @BruceFeldmanCFB and Facebook.

share story