Coaching Roots

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Pete Carroll is widely considered Lane Kiffin's mentor.  The USC head coach gave young Kiffin his big break by naming him tight ends coach in 2001.

Monte Kiffin was a huge influence on his son.  The lifetime coach helped cultivate Lane's knowledge of the sideline profession.

Of course, Carroll and Kiffin are defensive coaches. 

Somewhere in between, Lane Kiffin played for Jeff Tedford, who helped launch his offensive coaching career.

"People talk all the time about who you coached under," Kiffin said of his influences.  "I think it's very, very critical to your career who you play under. 

Kiffin played quarterback for Tedford at Fresno State.  More accurately, he learned how to play the QB position and run an offense.

The future head coach did not get many reps sitting behind soon-to-be NFL signal-callers David Carr (2002 #1 overall pick) and Billy Volek (10-year vet).  Instead, he watched closely as professor Tedford taught the school of offense.

"I was able to be a quarterback under him, so I was already learning well before I started coaching," Kiffin said earlier this week.

Self-aware about his football prospects, Kiffin traded in his helmet for a headset his senior year.

"In my last year there, I was coaching with him sitting in the press box," said Kiffin, who was a student assistant coach.

The coaching storylines have been rich this season. 

Kiffin vs. Sarkisian, Kiffin vs. Harbaugh, now Kiffin and Tedford. 

The pupil hopes to show his former mentor just how much he's learned.

Watch the video below to hear Jeff Tedford's thoughts on Lane Kiffin.

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