USC Football: Kennedy Polamalu Out, Lane Kiffin Still Inexplicably in

Amy LamareSenior Analyst IFebruary 11, 2013

Dec 31, 2012; El Paso, TX, USA; Southern California Trojans running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu reacts against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the 2012 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. Georgia Tech defeated USC 21-7.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

The coaching changes and firings just keep happening at USC.  It is starting to feel like head coach Lane Kiffin is evaluating and overhauling every position but his own.

The latest to make his exit is beloved offensive coordinator/running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu. (via

The Polamalu news broke just two days after national signing day. You know, the day that USC landed 5-star running back Ty Isaac (Rivals) shortly after the early enrollment of 4-star running back Justin Davis (

Polamalu was the de-facto offensive coordinator despite not calling the plays. He worked closely with Lane Kiffin to plan the games and now seems to be taking the blame for an underperforming offense.

Whether this is fair or not depends, I suppose, on whether you are a Kiffin apologist or not.

The truth of the matter is that USC’s offense finished ranked No. 41 in total offense with a mediocre (by USC standards) 432 yards per game. More telling is that the offense didn’t live up to its lofty expectations even with four-year starter QB Matt Barkley returning for his senior season.

But is this (in name only) OC Kennedy Polamalu’s fault or the play-caller Lane Kiffin’s fault? Hmmmm.  I will let you all draw your own conclusions, but the term “Pot meet kettle, you’re black” comes to mind.

Keep in mind that Polamalu’s offense had a 1,000-yard rusher in Curtis McNeal as well as two potential NFL tight ends and all-world wideouts Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. Honestly, I know you all are aware that I, like many Trojan alumni and fans, have hard time placing the blame anywhere but squarely on Lane’s shoulders.

Polamalu is the fourth person to leave Lane Kiffin’s coaching staff. Previously Monte Kiffin, Marvin Sanders and Scottie Hazelton have departed USC for other jobs.  

Polamalu is a former Trojan fullback who just finished the third season of his second coaching gig with USC.