Shortly after the Minnesota Vikings fired Mike Zimmer on Monday, rumors popped up about Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin being a candidate to fill the vacancy.
Hardly any time passed after the decision of the Minnesota Vikings to fire head coach Mike Zimmer on Monday before we had our first big rumor about who the team might bring in to replace him. Like many rumors, the details of it are a bit surprising, especially this one since it involves current Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin.
That’s right, shortly after the news was revealed that the Vikings were moving on from Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman, PFF’s Brad Spielberger shared a rumor that he’s been hearing about recently that involves Minnesota having interest in Kiffin to be the team’s next head coach.
Spielberger is currently a salary cap analyst for PFF, but one reason why we might want to take this rumor as more than just some random person posting something on Twitter is the fact that he used to be a legal intern for the Vikings. One would imagine that he still has some contacts from his time with the team.
Why would the Minnesota Vikings be interested in Lane Kiffin as their next head coach?
Spielberger wasn’t the only person revealing this rumor to the public as Michael Ryan Ruiz of “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” had this to say during an episode of the podcast that was published on Monday.
"“I truly believe Lane Kiffin is probably going to be the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. And the reason why think this is because of all of the assistants leaving the [Ole Miss] staff and I was told ‘look out for the Minnesota Vikings job, but he’s not a fit with Rick Spielman.’Zimmer just got fired and Spielman just got fired. That’s oil and water, Lane Kiffin and Rick Spielman, not a fit. [But] now that they’ve cleaned house, look for a total coaching and culture overhaul in Minnesota, and I’ve got Lane Kiffin in the NFL again, possibly.”"
Obviously, this is all still just a rumor until Minnesota actually brings in Kiffin for an interview. But Ruiz was one of the first to break the news in December that Mario Cristobal was going to become the new head coach at the University of Miami, so he clearly has some knowledgable contacts.
Kiffin was hired to be the head coach at Ole Miss in 2020, and after leading the school to a 5-5 record in his first season, they just finished the 2021 campaign with a 10-3 record and a final ranking of No. 11 in the Associated Press Top 25.
A graduate of Bloomington Jefferson High School in Minnesota, Kiffin has already had a brief stint in the NFL as a head coach. Back in 2007, he was hired to be the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders despite only being 31-years-old. Kiffin didn’t even last two full seasons before the Raiders got rid of him and his 5-15 career record.
Since that time in Oakland came to an end in 2008, he had stints as the head coach at Tennessee, USC, and Florida Atlantic in addition to being the offensive coordinator at Alabama from 2014 to 2016.