Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron confirmed that news, which was widely rumored before Kiffin signed on with the Owls, during an event in Louisiana on Friday night.
“We were looking at Lane Kiffin,” Orgeron said, according to Ross Dellenger of The Advocate. “He was going to come. He got a head job.”
The two men are close personal friends from their time on the USC staff together. Orgeron immediately began advocating for Kiffin after becoming the permanent LSU head coach following the 2016 season.
Kiffin spent the past three seasons as offensive coordinator at Alabama, and confirmed his previous interest in the LSU job during a radio appearance this week.
“I was (interested), because I really think they’re going to win a lot there and do great things, they got some great players coming back, especially the running backs,” Kiffin told Bo Mattingly of “SportsTalk with Bo.” “The intrigue was there.”
LSU eventually hired former Pitt offensive coordinator Matt Canada to fill the role after Kiffin signed on at Florida Atlantic. That robbed everyone of seeing how Nick Saban would react to his offensive leader leaving for another program in the division.