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 through 2023, even though Auburn is offering him the chance to fill its head coaching vacancy.

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

“Yeah, 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 at Ole Miss, Kiffin noted that he had signed more with the school and has been more focused on the Mississippi State game. In December 2021, he received an improved contract with Ole Miss that increased his salary to $7.25 million this year.

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

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

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