Kiffin on Pola

USC keeps finding his way into the spotlight.

First-year football coach Lane Kiffin announced Saturday he has filled out his coaching staff by hiring USC alum Kennedy Pola to be the Trojans' offensive coordinator and running backs coach -- but, as usual, it didn't come without controversy.

See, Pola signed on to be the Tennessee Titans' running backs coach six months ago. And, according to Titans coach Jeff Fisher, Kiffin didn't inform him of his interest in hiring Pola until after Pola had already accepted the position Saturday.

Kiffin released a subsequent statement claiming a slightly different sequence of events -- but it does appear Kiffin and Fisher have yet to actually speak on the subject. Both coaches' statements indicated indirect conversation; Fisher said Kiffin left him a voicemail.

Kiffin came short of admitting error in the matter in a statement released by the school Saturday afternoon, but he did allow that the situation wasn't ideal.

“We realize the timing of this isn’t perfect for all parties, but this is a great opportunity and promotion for Kennedy," he said.

An hour after Kiffin's statement, USC released an official statement announcing Pola's hiring. In it, Kiffin focused on the 46-year-old Pola's past experience -- both at USC and in the NFL.

“It’s great to welcome Kennedy home,” Kiffin said. “This is a great opportunity and promotion for him. He’s done an outstanding job wherever he’s been in college and the NFL. The last time he was here, he helped build the foundation for the championship run of the past 9 years.

Pola also joins linebackers coach Joe Barry, tight ends graduate assistant coach Keary Colbert, defensive assistant Sammy Knight and offensive assistant Lenny Vandermade as former USC players on Kiffin's staff -- and six other coaches as former NFL coaches now working for the Trojans.

"It’s always great to bring another Trojan back to the family, as he’s now the fifth former USC player on our staff," Kiffin said. "He’s also the seventh full-time coach on our staff with NFL coaching experience.”