New UT head coach, Lane Kiffin, talks about his experience and growing up learning the game. Watch »
New UT head coach, Lane Kiffin, talks about his experience recruiting and what his plan is for UT recruitment. Watch »
Even before being officially introduced as Tennessee’s next head football coach, Lane Kiffin already is on the job.
Kiffin, who comes to Tennessee after 1 1⁄2 years as head coach of the Oakland Raiders and six seasons as an assistant at Southern California, met with his new team Sunday night. On Sunday morning, he called a few recruits.
And he’s also been busy building a new staff.
Kiffin, 33, will be introduced as UT’s 21st head football coach during a 2 p.m. press conference today in the Wolf-Kaplan Center inside Neyland Stadium.
He replaces Phillip Fulmer, who was fired Nov. 3 and led UT to a 152-52 record in 16-plus seasons with the Vols.
Kiffin’s staff has a family feel.
Citing multiple unnamed sources, ESPN reported that Kiffin’s father, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, will become UT’s defensive coordinator after Tampa’s season is over.
The elder Kiffin, 68, has been with the Buccaneers the last 13 seasons and is regarded as one of the NFL’s top defensive minds.
“It’s all just speculation. That’s all it is,” Monte Kiffin told the Associated Press on Sunday, responding to the report after Tampa Bay improved to 9-3 with a win over the New Orleans Saints. “I can honestly tell you it’s speculation, just like it came up with the Raiders, it came up two years ago, it came up last year.”
South Carolina quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator David Reaves also is expected to join Kiffin at Tennessee.
South Carolina announced Sunday that Reaves, 29, resigned after five years as a full-time coach with the Gamecocks.
“He had a wonderful opportunity presented to him and we wish him the best,” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said in a press release.
Reaves, whose father John Reaves was an All-American quarterback at Florida and coached on Spurrier’s staff with the Gators, is Lane Kiffin’s brother-in-law.
Reaves also has been named one of Rivals.com’s top 25 recruiters and helped put together a consensus top-10 recruiting class in 2007 regarded as one of the best in South Carolina history.
Other potential candidates to join Kiffin’s staff are:
n New Orleans Saints defensive line coach and former Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron. Orgeron coached with Kiffin at Southern Cal, but could be a candidate at LSU, if the Tigers make changes to their defensive staff.
n Green Bay Packers defensive quality control coach and former Louisville quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator Joe Whitt Jr.
n Nebraska graduate assistant Chris Kiffin, Lane’s younger brother.
n Former Nebraska head coach and New York Jets assistant offensive head coach Bill Callahan.
n Southern Cal quarterbacks graduate assistant Yogi Roth. Kiffin reportedly offered Roth, a former wide receiver at Pittsburgh, a job as assistant wide receivers coach with the Raiders.
Meanwhile, UT’s four defensive coaches will not be retained, according to a source within the program.
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dave Clawson also will not be back.
Offensive line coach Greg Adkins will not be retained either, a source said.
UT’s other three offensive assistants — running back coach Stan Drayton, receivers coach Latrell Scott and tight ends coach Jason Michael — will be evaluated before final decisions are made, although it is unlikely any would remain on staff next season.