Kiffin mum on NFL coaches who might join USC’s staff

Lane Kiffin‘s first USC staff will include his father, former Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, and possibly ex-Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow. However, Kiffin will not say if any other assistant coaches with NFL ties or backgrounds will join the Trojans.

When asked about reports that Chow would leave UCLA and return to USC, Kiffin said Wednesday that he didn’t want to discuss possible candidates for his staff “out of respect for other universities and NFL teams.”

NFL teams? Kiffin went 5-15 as the Raiders’ coach in 2007 and 2008, so it isn’t inconceivable that he might dip into the professional ranks to fill spots on his USC staff.

Kiffin hired his father and former NFL assistants Jim Chaney (Rams) and James Cregg (Raiders) to his first staff at the University of Tennessee. Kippy Brown, who’s now the Volunteers’ interim coach, was hired by Kiffin last month after spending three seasons as a Lions assistant.

Kiffin, who left Tennessee on Tuesday, likely will need to replace offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. and offensive line coach Pat Ruel, all of whom are expected to follow former USC coach Pete Carroll to the Seattle Seahawks.

After Kiffin was fired by the Raiders just four games into the 2008 season, he became the head coach at Tennessee. Kiffin was 7-6 in his lone season with the Vols, who are expected to stay in the college ranks to find their new coach.

Tennessee contacted former Bucs and Raiders coach Jon Gruden about the job Tuesday night, but he declined to be interviewed, a source close to the situation told The Sporting News. Gruden, who’s now an ESPN analyst, was an assistant coach at Tennessee, and his wife attended the school.

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