A failed quarterback competition created the Lane Kiffin we know today. 

By Michael Shapiro
October 05, 2018

Before Lane Kiffin became the head coach at Florida Atlantic—and prior to his stints with USC, Tennessee and the Raiders—he was a quarterback at Fresno State, suiting up for the Bulldogs from 1994-96. But his playing career came to an abrupt end before the 1997 season.

Former Fresno State and Houston Texans quarterback David Carr detailed the final day of Kiffin's playing career in a new video for Stadium. As Carr tells it, Kiffin was a fifth-year senior when Carr entered the program, quickly losing his spot on the QB depth chart to the freshman. Kiffin, not too pleased by the development, showed up to Fresno-State practice without pads or his uniform, telling head coach Jeff Tedford, "I figured I could show up in shorts and a t-shirt, because you're just going to give my reps to [Carr]."

Kiffin summarily left practice, assumed to have quit the team. But with a boost from his father and longtime NFL defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, Lane returned to Bulldogs' practice in a new role: assistant wide receivers coach. A new career was born.

Watch Stadium's animated re-telling of Carr's story below:


Kiffin took issue with a couple of the details, but hasn't (at least yet) disputed the bulk of the story. 

Kiffin went on to work as an assistant with Fresno State for two seasons. Since then he has gone 48-27 as a college head coach with three programs. He went 5-15 in less than two seasons with the Raiders in 2007 and 2008. 

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