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Lane Kiffin: ‘This was not an easy decision’

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Lane Kiffin, who was chosen Tuesday to replace Pete Carroll as USC’s football coach, had a brief news conference on Tennessee’s campus where he talked about his decision to leave the Volunteers for the Trojans.

“This was not an easy decision,” he said. “I really believe this is the only place I would have left here to go.”

Kiffin, 34, went 7-6 at Tennessee last season as the youngest head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision, but he also brought an unwelcome spotlight on the Volunteers with several minor NCAA violations. He certainly didn’t sound ready to leave after Tennessee’s season ended with a loss to Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl — but the Trojans didn’t have a vacancy then.

“I know there’s a ton of excitement about what we’re doing, and we’re just getting started,” Kiffin said last week.

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-- Houston Mitchell

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