Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin says he expects to return as Rebels coach

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin said he expects to stay with the Rebels in 2023 even if Auburn offers him the chance to fill the head coaching vacancy.

Kiffin was asked about his standing after Thursday’s 24-22 home loss to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, Ole Miss’s third straight loss to end the regular season. Kiffin, who is in his third year as Rebels coach, is seen as one of Auburn’s top candidates to replace Bryan Harsin, who was fired Oct. 31.

“Yes, I do,” Kiffin said Thursday when asked if he expects to return to Ole Miss next season.

Sources told ESPN’s Chris Low that Kiffin met with Ole Miss players on Tuesday and told them he has not accepted a job at any other school. WCBI-TV in Columbus, Mississippi, reported Monday that Kiffin planned to resign Friday and take the Auburn job. Kiffin denied the report.

Asked after Thursday’s loss about signing a new contract extension with Ole Miss, Kiffin noted that he had signed several with the school and was more focused on the Mississippi State game. In December 2021, he received an upgraded contract with Ole Miss which increased his salary to $7.25 million this year.

If Kiffin does indeed pass Auburn, then Liberty coach Hugh Freeze will likely be chased by the school. Freeze is 34-14 at Liberty after coaching Ole Miss from 2012 to 2017, going 39-25.

Kiffin is 23-12 at Ole Miss and 18-7 the past two seasons.

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