Kiffin takes on critics

In three weeks on the job, Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin has made a big splash.

He’s also rocked a few boats.

Shortly before Tennessee’s basketball game against Belmont on Saturday afternoon, Kiffin said he worked to convince his highest-profile hire — father and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin — to join his staff at UT.

And he’s also unconcerned about the stir caused by Tennessee’s two other new hires, former South Carolina quarterbacks coach David Reaves, who is Kiffin’s brother-in-law, and former Oakland Raiders offensive line coach James Cregg.

Reaves angered South Carolina fans and some members of the Gamecocks’ staff by contacting several Carolina commitments after leaving for Tennessee.

Raiders interim coach Tom Cable was publicly critical of Cregg for leaving for UT with two games remaining and said he planned to confront Kiffin in the future.

“I don’t really care,” Kiffin said Saturday. “I got a job to do in our athletic department and that’s to put together the best staff we can put together and the best players we can put together. I’m not really concerned about that stuff.

“If Steve’s concerned about my test, I got 39 out of 40,” Kiffin said, responding to comments made by South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier about whether Kiffin had passed the required NCAA recruiting test before contacting prospects. “I’d like to see what he got.”

UT athletic director Mike Hamilton isn’t too concerned, either.

“I think it’s business,” Hamilton said. “Anytime guys move from here to there, you have a chance of those things happening. I think it’s just part of business. If I felt like that there was something out there that was unethical, then yeah, that would bother me, but I haven’t seen any of that at all.”

As for Monte Kiffin, who will arrive in Knoxville two days after Tampa Bay’s final game of the season, the younger Kiffin said he got the best defensive mind in football.

“We went to the top,” he said. “As we evaluated different people, we felt like this was the best defensive coordinator in all of football, college or the NFL. We were fortunate for his contract to be set up in a way where we’re really the only people that could get him.”

According to Lane Kiffin, his father’s contract includes a clause that would prohibit him from leaving for another NFL team or any college team that wasn’t coached by his son.

Still, it wasn’t a given that Monte Kiffin would have joined his son had the location been different.

“I don’t think this could have happened hardly anywhere else,” Kiffin said. “He never said, ‘I’m going with you wherever you go.’ It had to be a special place. … He doesn’t want to come here to be mediocre. He wants to come here to win national championships. Those things had to be in place and it had to be a setup from the athletic department that would make it financially secure for him as well.”

Lane Kiffin was clearly pleased with his father’s decision to join him at UT.

“It’s really amazing to be able to pull of what we were able to pull off,” said Kiffin, who also said UT was able to hire Monte Kiffin because of “the last name.”

Salary figures were not immediately available for UT’s new hires; however, Monte Kiffin, who earns $2 million with the Buccaneers, will likely become one of the highest paid coordinators in college football.

As a result, UT’s salary pool for assistants will grow significantly from the $1.9 million allocated in 2008.

Hamilton declined to provide a specific figure for Kiffin’s new staff.

“He’s got his numbers and the resources to make the hires,” Hamilton said. “Basically what we’ve talked about is different guys in different slots, and if we get those guys, then the max is there. If you look at some other folks, then maybe it’s a different number.”

UT hopes to have its complete staff in place by the second week of January, Lane Kiffin said, although that could be delayed if any of his targets are still coaching in the NFL at that time.

Reaves and Cregg haven’t been given specific positions yet.

“I’m not going to put anybody in a position right now that could possibly limit us from getting someone else,” Kiffin said.

The future of four holdovers from Phillip Fulmer’s staff — Stan Drayton, Jason Michael, Greg Adkins and Latrell Scott — remains in doubt.

“They’re getting paid by the university,” Kiffin said. “They have a job to do, and they’re doing a good job. At the same time, I’ve told them that anything that comes from anywhere else, you can go interview, and some guys have done that because they need to cover themselves as well.”

Scott interviewed with Virginia on Friday.

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Comments » 216

vollowme writes:

love it. no fear.

gohawks1 writes:

Looking good so far. Keep it coming, Coach.

vtvol#210290 writes:

A total 180 in attitude from the former regime. He's definintely an "in-your-face" type guy.

diggerland17#448133 writes:

CLK is the man!!GO VOLS!!

TommyJack writes:

I like the swagger. Been missing for quite awhile. Ska-roo what the interlopers think. That is all.

DennisVols writes:

I like the mindset of you get the best to be the best. Not setteling for left overs.
Building a winning attitude

GahLee writes:

Would love to hear some recruiting news. Glad to have his old man aboard. Just need to assemble a few more pieces. He should really let the position coaches that are on payroll right now know if they are going to be retained, he is obviously keeping them on right now because of recruiting ties and he wouldn't want to upset any of the guys that they are recruiting, but at the same time he should at least let them know if they are going to be back or not. In my opinion they will not be retained, he is just kinda stringing them along until the recruiting process is over, which really isn't right. Oh well, go get'em Coach Kiffin. Go Vols!!!

username writes:

Swagger. "In-your-face." Attitude. All poppycock. If he wins, all of that is good. If he doesn't, it's worthless.

TommyJack writes:

in response to username:

Swagger. "In-your-face." Attitude. All poppycock. If he wins, all of that is good. If he doesn't, it's worthless.

It beats the "work like the devil". I say, let the good times roll. If it does't work, so be it. Time to roll the dice.

cdonsbach writes:

GO VOLS

volsboy1983 writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

are you a vols fan cuz you dont seem to be go post on a bama cocs dawgs or gator post and get the hell off of ours this is a good thing even fulmer lovers are coming around you just need to keep your moth shut i and everyone eles is tired of seeing you dumb post get a life man

tennesseebee writes:

I sure like the upper cut to Darth Visor. Stevie just ain't used to that-bet his mouth is still hangin' open!

rootin4volz writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why, gator zzzzzz? You scared?

debaser11 writes:

in response to volsboy1983:

are you a vols fan cuz you dont seem to be go post on a bama cocs dawgs or gator post and get the hell off of ours this is a good thing even fulmer lovers are coming around you just need to keep your moth shut i and everyone eles is tired of seeing you dumb post get a life man

Just ignore this moron. The ONLY point of his posts are to stir up the emotions of those of us who really care about the program. When you see his name, just scroll on down.

BigOrangeVol writes:

TJ,... "That is all." ???

C'mon dude, don't be stealing Willard Collins signature line! He's only been gone a year and 9 days.

rootin4volz writes:

And don't forget the old saying: Sometimes the best OFFENSE is a good DEFENSE.
All of these other yahoos are out there looking for the next Urbane Meyer spread offense to bolster their program (well, all except for Auburn. Who knows WHAT the hell they were thinking). Maybe ol' Lane boy sees an opportunity to shut that phooey d-o-w-n.
Yeah, I'm thinkin' that gator zzzzzzz and his loud-mouth buddies are about to crawl back into the water with their jaws duct-taped together.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

A civil reply for you:

Hamilton is no pansie. If Kiffen gets out of line, he'll get whacked.

Something I'd add: people get a lot more 'history' nowadays than they used to do. Coaching for Pete Carroll is no slow gig. Lots of pressure, lots of profile.

You raised a nice point, I hope you're satisfied with my answer.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to rootin4volz:

And don't forget the old saying: Sometimes the best OFFENSE is a good DEFENSE.
All of these other yahoos are out there looking for the next Urbane Meyer spread offense to bolster their program (well, all except for Auburn. Who knows WHAT the hell they were thinking). Maybe ol' Lane boy sees an opportunity to shut that phooey d-o-w-n.
Yeah, I'm thinkin' that gator zzzzzzz and his loud-mouth buddies are about to crawl back into the water with their jaws duct-taped together.

Remember TX D. Royal and his wishbone? It took a couple of year for the defense's to catch up but it's no big deal today. The spread is a goood Off. but Defense's are catching up. Miss. proved that against Fl this year. Fl happens to have Superman on their team or you would have seen other teams stopping the Fl Spread.

highVOLtage writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Unchecked power??

It's not like he's the President of the United States or anything. He's a football coach with a budget to recruit nationwide and assemble the best coaching staff in the SEC. Yeah, I'm okay with that.

kwvolsfan writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

IMO AreyouKiffinme = HireSanders....suspect since CPF is gone he had to reinvent himself. Post run along the same negative lines. What do the rest of you think?

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

in response to vollowme:

love it. no fear.

don't you think that when we go after other schools recruits it's unethical, but when they go after ours the applause just doesn't ever go away? Like Bush going into Iraq was like Hitler, and a murderer, but if Clinton or Obama did it, they would have been hailed as champions of liberty! I believe that we have had to at times life with two standards here at Tennessee. One for us, and another for our opponents. Like the officials calling one way for one, and another way for the other. Fulmer will be called one of the greatest coaches ever because of things like this, his good attitude, and ability to overlook political issues which interfere in competitive sports. Immaturity is a fact of life no matter given to our ages. We may be mature for our age, or mature beyond our years, or immature for our age. Sometimes success depends on who we surround ourselves with, and how well the chemistry develops in those athletes on our teams. History shows the Greeks defeated Xerxes at the pass of Thermopolea. 300 Spartans defeated 10,000 Persians. These are our beginning points and all of us fans should pursue getting on the boat at these points. More power to us. Go Vols.

CoverOrange writes:

Re: Reaves contacting recruits he formerly recruited for SC. Didn't Trooper vow not to recruit for Ok St anyone he recruited for Tennessee last year? And he was lauded for that. Truth be told, if the situation was reversed you guys would be screaming about how such and such was lowlifejerk.

All gatorzz was saying was be careful what you wish for.

lilesrt writes:

in response to volsboy1983:

are you a vols fan cuz you dont seem to be go post on a bama cocs dawgs or gator post and get the hell off of ours this is a good thing even fulmer lovers are coming around you just need to keep your moth shut i and everyone eles is tired of seeing you dumb post get a life man

Thank you! Finally someone stepping up to this clown! Arrogant? He sure is. You have to be arrogant playing in the SEC. I love it!

CoverOrange writes:

"father's deal won't allow him to leave Vols without son"

Does the headline for this article make any sense to anyone? The article says Monte can't leave Tampa unless he goes where his son is coaching. The headline says he won't leave his son behind at Tennessee.

KNS needs to put a "for" in there somewhere.

JohnsonCity_George writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tell Coach Urban Meyer and Tebow that the game film is starting to stack up and an old Defensive Coordinator likes nothing better then film. Lot’s of film.
Also, after watching the final minutes of the SEC championship game, you got to figure Tebow and his roomie don’t know how many cameras there are nor how tight the shots can be.

theutvolunteers writes:

don't you think that when we go after other schools recruits it's unethical, but when they go after ours the applause just doesn't ever go away? Like Bush going into Iraq was like Hitler, and a murderer, but if Clinton or Obama did it, they would have been hailed as champions of liberty! I believe that we have had to at times life with two standards here at Tennessee. One for us, and another for our opponents. Like the officials calling one way for one, and another way for the other. Fulmer will be called one of the greatest coaches ever because of things like this, his good attitude, and ability to overlook political issues which interfere in competitive sports. Immaturity is a fact of life no matter given to our ages. We may be mature for our age, or mature beyond our years, or immature for our age. Sometimes success depends on who we surround ourselves with, and how well the chemistry develops in those athletes on our teams. History shows the Greeks defeated Xerxes at the pass of Thermopolea. 300 Spartans defeated 10,000 Persians. These are our beginning points and all of us fans should pursue getting on the boat at these points. More power to us. Go Vols.

God, you and your conservatism freakin suck. I mean you can not be a real person only an internet character here to rile the masses. At least I hope that is the situation.

MarineDad writes:

Drew ... Dude ... I think you may want to watch that press conference video again. I believe that CLK was referring to Monte's Buccaneers contract. CLK said that UT was the only team he could leave the Bucs to go to because his contract states that he couldn't leave for any other NFL or college team unless he (CLK) is the head coach.

http://www.cstv.com/allaccess/player/...

theutvolunteers writes:

*sucks

theutvolunteers writes:

VOLgrad92 writes:

Drew ... Dude ... I think you may want to watch that press conference video again. I believe that CLK was referring to Monte's Buccaneers contract. CLK said that UT was the only team he could leave the Bucs to go to because his contract states that he couldn't leave for any other NFL or college team unless he (CLK) is the head coach.

http://www.cstv.com/allaccess/player/...

That is correct.

highVOLtage writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Re: Reaves contacting recruits he formerly recruited for SC. Didn't Trooper vow not to recruit for Ok St anyone he recruited for Tennessee last year? And he was lauded for that. Truth be told, if the situation was reversed you guys would be screaming about how such and such was lowlifejerk.

All gatorzz was saying was be careful what you wish for.

I thought Trooper vowed not to recruit anyone that Ok St wasn't already recruiting (i.e. if OSU wasn't on the guy's list then he wouldn't go after UT recruits, but if both UT & OSU were already actively recruiting the same guy then it's fair game). As they say, all's fair in love, war and recruiting. ;)

knoxtenn writes:

Right now, it's just talk. I like it, but it means little until they hit they field.

plzcomebackpeyton writes:

in response to WeLoveTennesseeVols:

don't you think that when we go after other schools recruits it's unethical, but when they go after ours the applause just doesn't ever go away? Like Bush going into Iraq was like Hitler, and a murderer, but if Clinton or Obama did it, they would have been hailed as champions of liberty! I believe that we have had to at times life with two standards here at Tennessee. One for us, and another for our opponents. Like the officials calling one way for one, and another way for the other. Fulmer will be called one of the greatest coaches ever because of things like this, his good attitude, and ability to overlook political issues which interfere in competitive sports. Immaturity is a fact of life no matter given to our ages. We may be mature for our age, or mature beyond our years, or immature for our age. Sometimes success depends on who we surround ourselves with, and how well the chemistry develops in those athletes on our teams. History shows the Greeks defeated Xerxes at the pass of Thermopolea. 300 Spartans defeated 10,000 Persians. These are our beginning points and all of us fans should pursue getting on the boat at these points. More power to us. Go Vols.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

govols87 writes:

hey if fans of other schools come to this board and criticize what Kiffin is doing, it just means they don't understand what he is doing all these things for. CLK stated in an interview the Pete Carrol taught him how to build a program from the ground up and he's only following that blue print (with his own special touch). Frankly, I love how all these people from other programs are so up in arms. It shows that we're actually relevant again. Whether or not we get the results on the field next season that we all want, I believe this is the correct way to go about it. And if it is the wrong way, I don't wanna be right! It's been a while since I've been proud of my football program...specifically the demeanor of my coach. I can't wait until next fall...GO VOLS!!!

jturne44 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Re: Reaves contacting recruits he formerly recruited for SC. Didn't Trooper vow not to recruit for Ok St anyone he recruited for Tennessee last year? And he was lauded for that. Truth be told, if the situation was reversed you guys would be screaming about how such and such was lowlifejerk.

All gatorzz was saying was be careful what you wish for.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

tnbigg writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Amen!

Slystone writes:

Reserving comments on Kiffen until the season starts next year. Many of you should likewise do the same.

cleVOLand writes:

Please re-word the title of this article. It's just wrong.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to tnbigg:

Amen!

At least HCLK has a plan in mind.

Kinda important to a formerly rudderless ship trying to find the channel.

Also doubt if Monte K would be interested in too many more gigs after a stint with the Vols.

Geezer power "D" should be very watchable.

FIELDGOALTN writes:

Tell Tom Cable we are all shaking. Maybe we could "raid" him of few other coaches? Also, I like a coach that comes in and get Spurrier's goat right off the bat. South Carolina fans, before long you will be our beach again.

southernson writes:

A new day on Rocky top, Not afriad to make other coaches mad. No mustang, playing not to lose. WE PLAY TO WIN NOW BABY. Lets get this party started,

SouthDakotaBob writes:

Wonder what Spurrier got on his test? Man gotta love his attitude. We are Tennessee we aint taking junk from anyone!! Just have it carry over onto the field and not Cumberland Ave. GOBIGORANGE!!!

Couchdummy writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

"father's deal won't allow him to leave Vols without son"

Does the headline for this article make any sense to anyone? The article says Monte can't leave Tampa unless he goes where his son is coaching. The headline says he won't leave his son behind at Tennessee.

KNS needs to put a "for" in there somewhere.

Agree with you. As written, it doesnt mesh with the statements later in piece. Confusing.

VOLinDAWGland writes:

'Bout damned time we're doing the feather ruffling versus us being the brunt the past several years.

I like the swagger off the field and with coach O fully expect to see a nasty swagger on the field as well. This staff is going to bring back the fear factor where teams are not going to look forward to playing the Vols 'cause we're going to play physical smash mouth football.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And you are an idiot, but I digress. This man has fire, which is what we need. Spurrier was ALWAYS in Fulmer's head, now the tables have turned. GO VOLS

invisiblekid writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Re: Reaves contacting recruits he formerly recruited for SC. Didn't Trooper vow not to recruit for Ok St anyone he recruited for Tennessee last year? And he was lauded for that. Truth be told, if the situation was reversed you guys would be screaming about how such and such was lowlifejerk.

All gatorzz was saying was be careful what you wish for.

I think he was saying a little more than that. More like inciting the masses, which he appears to do well.

invisiblekid writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

"father's deal won't allow him to leave Vols without son"

Does the headline for this article make any sense to anyone? The article says Monte can't leave Tampa unless he goes where his son is coaching. The headline says he won't leave his son behind at Tennessee.

KNS needs to put a "for" in there somewhere.

Still trying to figure that one out myself.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to FIELDGOALTN:

Tell Tom Cable we are all shaking. Maybe we could "raid" him of few other coaches? Also, I like a coach that comes in and get Spurrier's goat right off the bat. South Carolina fans, before long you will be our beach again.

Tom Cable will likely be job searching soon himself

vol88 writes:

I like the fire, but I would also like to hear a little humility from someone who can't yet name all the Calhoun's locations.

philfan writes:

As for Monte Kiffin, who will arrive in Knoxville two days after Tampa Bay’s final game of the season, the younger Kiffin said he got the best defensive mind in football.
“We went to the top,” he said. “As we evaluated different people, we felt like this was the best defensive coordinator in all of football, college or the NFL. We were fortunate for his contract to be set up in a way where we’re really the only people that could get him.”

It is always impossible for a son to be totally objective about his father, and vice versa. The best defensive coordinator available in college football was Chavis, who ended the year with the sixth or seventh best defense in the nation. But Monte will always, in his eyes, be the best in the whole wide world. How many times do I have to make this statement before I make any headway with a group of fans who wanted change at any cost, even by overlooking the most basic rules of ethics and common sense?

DingoVol writes:

Philfan, I can't believe an objective Volunteer fan can't see that getting Monte Kiffin is a tremendous upgrade over Chavis. I think Chavis is a great Def Coord. but I have to question his thinking when he allows Slade to continue to have his DBs 8 yards off the line of scrimmage. Why is it that we can stop 3rd and 1 better than 3rd and 9? You can't tell me that that didn't drive you crazy. Coach Fulmer is gone (and nobody is trying to hire him), and Chavis was collateral damage from the firing. He will be fine and our team will be better as a result.

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