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Ole Miss Coach Lane Kiffin Opens Up About Turning Down Auburn Job

For the first time since nearly leaving the Ole Miss Rebels for the Auburn Tigers after last season, head coach Lane Kiffin opened up about his decision-making process

Despite what some Ole Miss Rebels fans would like to believe, head football coach Lane Kiffin was indeed considering leaving Oxford after last season in favor of the Auburn Tigers. 

Ultimately, Kiffin elected to stay put with the Rebels, signing a brand-new extension six-year extension that will pay him an average of $9 million per year. 

However, while Kiffin was still mulling through his options - a process that took nearly two weeks - he faced enormous criticism from fans.

And in an interview with ESPN on Friday, Kiffin opened up about his feelings surrounding the situation for the first time. 

"We screw up all the time," Kiffin told ESPN. "But when you think you're doing the right thing and then you're really criticized for it -- especially by your own people -- I struggled with that because I feel like I went through a decision-making process that you're supposed to go through. I mean, you got to decide. It's your life and your family's life."

Arguments from both sides of the aisle are understandable. 

One the one hand, Kiffin was under an incredible amount to pressure to make a life-altering decision that would uproot his family.

On the other, Ole Miss fans were terrified of losing the coach that had pulled them out of the abyss and led them to a 23-13 record over three seasons. 

Kiffin, of course, elected to stay in Oxford and continue the journey with the Rebels - something that, as he pointed out to ESPN, is not always the case when coaches are being pursued by blue-blood SEC programs. 

"Which over time a lot of people have not done when they've been in similar situations," Kiffin said. "Including that specific job, the Auburn job."

Now, Kiffin has seemingly accepted the process and the criticism for what it was. 

And as Kiffin embarks on his fourth spring football camp as the head coach of the Rebels, he moves forward with all of those distractions behind him. 

Hopefully, for good. 

You can follow Matt Galatzan on Twitter @MattGalatzan

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