LOS ANGELES — Monte Kiffin, the Bucs' defensive coordinator when they won the Super Bowl, will resign as coordinator on his son Lane's staff at USC after the Trojans' bowl game. He is leaving "in order to pursue opportunities in the NFL," the school said in a statement Thursday.
"I respect my father's decision," Lane Kiffin said in the statement. "We are very appreciative of the hard work and effort that he put in at USC these past three years."
Monte Kiffin, 72, has coached for 47 years, 26 in the NFL. He was the Bucs' defensive coordinator for 13, from 1996-2008, constructing the famed Tampa 2 defense. When Lane was hired by Tennessee in 2009, Monte joined him. Both moved to USC a year later.
USC started 2012 No. 1 in the polls and among the national title contenders but hasn't lived up to the hype. It has allowed 178 points while losing four of its past five games to fall to 7-5, and the defense is among the worst in school history. It is 62nd in Division I-A allowing an average 396.1 yards per game and is tied for 46th at 24.6 points. The low point came when it allowed school records of 62 points and 730 yards in a 62-51 home loss to Oregon.
"I really enjoyed my time at USC," Monte Kiffin said in the statement. "The chance to work for my son, Lane, was unique and memorable. Although things didn't always go as well as we would have liked this year … I will leave USC with the utmost respect for the university, the Trojan family and, most importantly, the players I had the good fortune to coach."