Polamalu, a former USC fullback, coached running backs and held the title of offensive coordinator for the last three seasons.
The embattled Kiffin, however, was the play-caller and ran the offense for a team that opened the season No. 1 but finished 7-6,Several current and former USC players expressed their feelings about Polamalu through social media.
"Not only did we lose the best coach, we lost the only Trojan who was on staff. Real sad day," fullback Soma Vainuku posted on Twitter.