TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Lane Kiffin says he is coming back to Alabama for a second season as offensive coordinator.
Kiffin reportedly had been the top candidate to become offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Kiffin and coach Nick Saban issued statements Saturday announcing his return. It is not known if the 49ers new coach Jim Tomsula had any genuine interest in Kiffin joining his staff.
"I made a comment at the Sugar Bowl that I would be back this fall at Alabama and that is definitely the plan," Kiffin said. "This time of year, there are lots of things out there regarding other coaching opportunities, but I want to reaffirm my commitment to the University of Alabama, coach Saban, and our team.
"I'm excited about what our offensive staff was able to accomplish last year, but I also think there are a lot of things we can do a better job of in terms of putting our players in the best situation to have success."
Kiffin and Saban initially seemed like a potentially combustible pairing, but the Crimson Tide produced a big season offensively.
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Kiffin, a former head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Southern California and Tennessee, led Alabama to a school-record for total yards in his first season with a new quarterback in Blake Sims. Alabama lost to Ohio State in a national semifinal game.
Saban calls him "one of the finest offensive coaches in the country." Both coaches said Kiffin wants to continue to grow as a coach.
"He is going to have plenty of opportunities in the future and we want to continue to help him develop as a coach so when he leaves here, he'll be in a very good situation," Saban said.