Jan 11, 2013
Monte Kiffin has officially been named the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator.
Kiffin met with the club Friday to finalize the deal after speaking with team officials Thursday at Valley Ranch. At that point, it became clear he was the top target for the position after Rob Ryan’s release.
“I’m very excited about returning to the NFL and being with the Dallas Cowboys,” Kiffin said in a statement. “I came away from the interview process with Jason (Garrett) with a feeling that Dallas is the right place to be. He has this team headed in the right direction. They’re close, and I am confident that there are quality pieces in place for us to be able to get the job done.”
Kiffin, who turns 73 next month, hasn’t coached professionally since ending his 13-year tenure as Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator after the 2008 season. He then went to the collegiate ranks to coach defense alongside his son, Lane, at Tennessee and USC. Kiffin resigned from his post with the Trojans after their bowl game this season to pursue opportunities in the NFL.
The former Tampa Bay coordinator’s coached for 47 years, including 26 in the NFL. He was the defensive coordinator with the Buccaneers when they won the Super Bowl in the 2002 season. Tampa Bay led the NFL in fewest total yards allowed, scoring defense and interceptions that year.
Garrett, who was a backup quarterback in Tampa Bay in 2004, got to see how Kiffin operated first-hand. He said Kiffin possessed a unique ability to teach everything, from the smallest details to the overall defensive scheme, to all his defenders.
“Monte Kiffin’s level of experience and track record of success as an NFL defensive coordinator are unmatched, and I am really looking forward to the contributions that he will make to our coaching staff and our football team,” Garrett said. “He has produced NFL defensive units that have consistently performed at a high level in a scheme that has stood the test of time.”