Skip to content

Kiffin: I struggled with criticism after mulling Auburn job

Justin Ford / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Ole Miss's Lane Kiffin said he still feels conflicted about the criticism he received after considering an offer for the head coaching position at Auburn.

"We screw up all the time," he told ESPN's Alex Scarborough on Friday. "But when you think you're doing the right thing and then you're really criticized for it, especially by your own people, I struggled with that because I feel like I went through a decision-making process that you're supposed to go through.

"I mean, you got to decide. It's your life and your family's life."

The 47-year-old became one of Auburn's top candidates for its head coaching role after the school fired Bryan Harsin on Oct. 31.

Kiffin didn't make a public statement about being linked to the job and said he informed the team he'd be staying the night before its Egg Bowl contest against in-state rival Mississippi State on Nov. 24.

"I felt that it would have been a distraction to make this big statement 24 hours before the game and making it about me. … I told them thinking that's what obviously matters the most," Kiffin said. "And because we lost, it wasn't done right. If we won, nobody would've cared."

The team dropped its final four games in 2022, including defeats in the Egg Bowl and against Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl.

Kiffin posted a 23-13 record over the span of three seasons with Ole Miss. He also had stints with Tennessee, USC, Florida Atlantic, and the Oakland Raiders.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox