Lane Kiffin spent a considerable portion of his coaching career seemingly-failing upwards. From his failed stint at head coach of the Oakland Raiders to the ultra-quick run at Tennessee and a disappointing tenure with the USC Trojans, its sometimes amazing to think he’s still one of the first names people put out there anytime a notable college coaching job opens up.

It’s also amazing what a couple seasons at Alabama can do for you. Following two years leading the Crimson Tide offense, culminating in a National Championship victory a few days back, Kiffin’s reputation seems to be restored and even those in the NFL are noticing (even if bus drivers still aren’t).

Case in point, the report that the San Francisco 49ers contacted Kiffin to discuss the possibility of him becoming Chip Kelly’s offensive coordinator there next season. According to a source, contact was made between the two parties but it’s unclear how the discussion went down.

To be fair, the Niners have been hot on Kiffin for a while now. He was reportedly a front-runner for the position last year before he elected to return to Alabama. Geep Chryst was hired instead.

Considering that Kelly will almost-certainly do play-calling for the Niners this year, it doesn’t seem like the kind of position that Kiffin would want to take, even if it is a stepping stone back to the NFL. Right now he has the keys to the college football kingdom. It would seem strange to give that up for a figurehead spot even if it would be at a higher level.

Perhaps given that Kelly and Kiffin spent time together in the week leading up to Alabama’s College Football Playoff title game appearance, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Chip would be interested. However he probably also knows that Kiffin is suddenly in a position to say no to jobs such as this as he decides what to do next. We’ll have to wait and see whether or not he actually does say no to this one.

[Niners Nation]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed,, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle.