Adams: Hamilton stands tall in Kiffin's corner

Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton says he's confident in his hiring of Lane Kiffin. How confident are you?

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Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton was convinced he had found the right football coach when he hired Lane Kiffin after the 2008 season. He's even more confident now.

Maybe you don't share that confidence. Maybe you're concerned about a coach creating tsunami-size waves throughout the SEC before he has won his first game.

But Hamilton is influenced more by what he has observed and heard than by all the headlines piling up behind a coach who is shooting from the lip with Steve Spurrier-like speed without bothering to hang 50 points on a rival before opening fire.

Others might consider Kiffin as arrogant. Hamilton likes his confidence.

Others might view Kiffin as a loose cannon. Hamilton sees a man with a plan.

"This is a coach who has a plan, and he's confident in his plan," Hamilton said. "I want a head coach that believes we are gonna be successful. Sometimes, in making sure that message is communicated, there is a certain confidence that needs to be articulated. There's a breaking point of all that, obviously.

"He's very frank. He's not going to give a whole lot of politically correct statements. He will be very frank in how he feels about the program."

We've noticed. We've also noticed that his frankness extends to rival programs, recruits and anyone who impedes his work pace.

Hamilton has noticed something else. He has seen the intensity and work ethic of Kiffin and his staff. And he has seen the transference of that intensity and work ethic to UT's players.

"I've had the benefit of being around this staff," Hamilton said. "I've seen the way they go about their business with intent and purpose. I obviously don't know what it looks like on the football field yet. I do know there is a certain thing toward building a foundation toward achieving success."

Hamilton has witnessed one rebuilding project from the ground up. He saw what coach Bruce Pearl did with a once-foundering basketball program.

"When Bruce got here, he was tough on those kids," Hamilton said. "That team wasn't predicted to do a whole lot, and they went out and won the SEC East."

He's not intimating that Kiffin's team is about to do the same. But he sees similarities in the foundation.

"I'm sure on the front end of it (Kiffin's players) hated (the physical demands of the off-season)," Hamilton said. "But I've seen the kids on the street and talked to them. They believe in what it's doing for them. They believe that it's an important part in helping them to be what they want to be.

"It will be a tougher team."

By the nature of the sport, there's an element of toughness in any college football team. But there are different levels.

Forget the talent differential. UT's teams haven't been as tough as Florida coach Urban Meyer's teams.

It's not just a matter of working hard. It's a matter of competing every day in conditioning, practices, scrimmages and games. It's a matter of players being more accountable on and off the field.

It's the head coach's job to set the standards for competitiveness, discipline and accountability. Hamilton believes Kiffin will do that.

"Discipline is an issue in any program," Hamilton said. "If you have discipline off the field, you have discipline on the field.

"I wanted to make sure that was a priority for a coach."

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284.

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 136

rockytop47 writes:

Go get'em Coach!

Agee_Vols_82 writes:

Orange Swarm baby!!!!!!
Taken over, piss'em all off!!!!!

yeavols#228407 writes:

We are standing tall in KIFFIN's corner with him...the rest are just here holding his strap...Kiffin does have a plan..did you honestly think that his so called recruiting violations weren't planned? He knows how to sell to recruits..Kiffin knows how to market a team too and by doing so, he has created a buzz and stir that has gained nation wide attention. Does anyone really think that his jabs at SEC coaches was an "accident". Did anyone really think that his hiring of outstanding coaches was just a fluke? Did anyone really think that not taking certain recruits was just a bumbling move into a fog filled fun house? Wake up...its called A PLAN..plans may fail or they may succeed..we won't know for a few more years down the road. Only time will judge Kiffin, not third rate sports reporters or Monday through Friday armchair beer sucking half rate fantasy football coaches.

Bigger_Al writes:

"Tuscaloosa John" Adams is a pea-brained flea with no more of an idea of what a Vol fan wants to read than my Golden Retriever.

But at least people like my Golden Retriever...

DrJCrown_theMagicMan writes:

See all the people that are unsure or not "getting it" need to read this article about 500 times so maybe they can get a clue.

I am glad there is fire flowing again in The Vols and they will be very tuff and very mean like never b4.

stevefrommemphis writes:

Hamilton doesn't have any choice except to say these things publicly. Hopefully, privately he's demanding that Kiffin show better maturity and better judgment.

graphpro#231211 writes:

Beyond Coach Fulmers wins and losses. I guess my beef with his coaching was a lack of discipline and accountability. I see those things played heavily on Mike Hamilton mind as well...
"It's the head coach's job to set the standards for competitiveness, discipline and accountability. Hamilton believes Kiffin will do that."
Looking forward to more excitement on Rocky Top!

CoastGuardVol writes:

GO VOLS!!!

DrJCrown_theMagicMan writes:

I just hope Kiffin doesn't say anything to upset any of the other teams coaches.I would hate it if Meyer or Saban got upset and he made them cry to the SEC and there AD. Some Vol fans on here may like it if it became touch football instead of tackle also.

yeavols#228407 writes:

Sorry if Kiffin doesn't meet your standards on how to compose himself in such a stately gentleman manner..FORGET THAT CRAAP. Spurrier was quite successful at taking weekly jabs and holding press conferences to demean Tenessee..and WHO in the HADES do they think they are to say how Kiffin should conduct himself in regards to the SEC? No..this isn't TINY TIM tiptoeing through the tulips. Live with it or find another team.

DennisVols writes:

"If you have discipline off the field, you have discipline on the field."

Never hass a more true statement been said.
I am enjoying the toughness being required. Look at the films from last year. See the players sitting down on the sidlines, walking with hands on their hips gasping for air in the 1st half of a game. See the line getting beat up on both sides. Yeah there was Eric as the exception but it was not the rule.
More times than not we read stories about what they did off the field involving the police.
Be tough CLK and if they quit then they weren't tough enough to play here anyway.

TommyJack writes:

Fear the Kiffin.

BuckheadVol1 writes:

in response to yeavols#228407:

We are standing tall in KIFFIN's corner with him...the rest are just here holding his strap...Kiffin does have a plan..did you honestly think that his so called recruiting violations weren't planned? He knows how to sell to recruits..Kiffin knows how to market a team too and by doing so, he has created a buzz and stir that has gained nation wide attention. Does anyone really think that his jabs at SEC coaches was an "accident". Did anyone really think that his hiring of outstanding coaches was just a fluke? Did anyone really think that not taking certain recruits was just a bumbling move into a fog filled fun house? Wake up...its called A PLAN..plans may fail or they may succeed..we won't know for a few more years down the road. Only time will judge Kiffin, not third rate sports reporters or Monday through Friday armchair beer sucking half rate fantasy football coaches.

Ditto! I am glad Hamilton has come out to support his coach!
Go get em Kiff!

volsportsfan writes:

I just hope Kiffin is a winner! Like Urban Meyer or not he is a winner, and I would love for UT to have 2 Championships in 3 yrs.

DrJCrown_theMagicMan writes:

in response to DennisVols:

"If you have discipline off the field, you have discipline on the field."

Never hass a more true statement been said.
I am enjoying the toughness being required. Look at the films from last year. See the players sitting down on the sidlines, walking with hands on their hips gasping for air in the 1st half of a game. See the line getting beat up on both sides. Yeah there was Eric as the exception but it was not the rule.
More times than not we read stories about what they did off the field involving the police.
Be tough CLK and if they quit then they weren't tough enough to play here anyway.

I agree.
Some Vol fans on here are not very happy with CLK and I cannot for the life of me figure out why.I am really excited we are going to be so tuff instead of weak and flat like the team had become.

To the fans that want us to be a little nicer I hope we turn into a team too ruff for them to watch as we destroy other teams!

scottman98 writes:

I belive Hamilton has much more confidence in clk than he ever did in Foolmer

rootin4volz writes:

"It's the head coach's job to set the standards for competitiveness, discipline and accountability." A-FREAKIN'-MEN! I absolutely LOVE this. It's obvious that we've not been as tough, physically OR mentally, as our biggest rivals the last couple of years...not even CLOSE. I love it, Kiff! Put the pedal to the metal and let's run right over all of those who can't handle some freakin' intensity, drive, and purpose! And then let's do it to Alabama, Florida, and any other team that gets in our way! GO VOLS!!!!

thevoice writes:

I think I'm more confident we'll see another secondary violation this week. There's a history of that; there's no history of CLK on the field yet.

scottman98 writes:

in response to thevoice:

I think I'm more confident we'll see another secondary violation this week. There's a history of that; there's no history of CLK on the field yet.

I wish I was confidednt u haters would move to Bama

elizabethtonvol72 writes:

Hey! Remember some of the "old coaches" from the past? Not just at UT, but at alot of the other schools as well. They were considered mean, and tough, and very demanding of there teams. And more times than not, those Coaches, and teams where the ones to beat. They were the best at what they did. I honestly believe that this is the direction we are heading. Keep on keeping on CLK. We are behind you! Go Big Orange!!!! Is it kickoff time yet?

randzimm#255981 writes:

Kiffin is doing a good job. Everyone needs to chill out on the verbal stuff that the media has been harping on. The blunders that Kiffin made were very insignificant to say the least. IMHO, if you listen to his comments vs. reading them, they are really just... NOTHING! Enough of kicking that dead horse!!

If UT can have a respectable offensive line this year as opposed to last year, and UT sticks with the run more and also don't run those dumb predictable plays with G.Jones, I think we will have a good season. Our defense will be what carries us this year, we just need the offense to have some ball control and try to play mistake free, but that comes from the line giving some holes and protection, we didn't have that last year. QB play will depend on the line play... If UT coaches are big on discipline and technique, we will see a major improvement... GO VOLS

Gchild writes:

I know this is off topic, but I cant find any info on the Bryce Brown visit anywhere. Do any of you know how it went? Did we improve our chances with the visit?

tennesseebee writes:

I still refuse to trash Fulmer, but I will say they were seldom ready at the start of the season. Given how early we play Fla., a more physical spring may be just what we need. This is not an observation I just made recently. I've often said that if we could have played Fla. later in the season, we would have been more successful in the past.

ect1983 writes:

in response to Bigger_Al:

"Tuscaloosa John" Adams is a pea-brained flea with no more of an idea of what a Vol fan wants to read than my Golden Retriever.

But at least people like my Golden Retriever...

Idiot

GerryOP writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Fear the Kiffin.

TJ, you done learnt good... preach the message!

202 (almost 201) -- Fear The Kiffin...

Vol43 writes:

in response to stevefrommemphis:

Hamilton doesn't have any choice except to say these things publicly. Hopefully, privately he's demanding that Kiffin show better maturity and better judgment.

What?

Gchild writes:

I really dont see how any of the things Kiffin has done so far have gotten so much pub. If you really think about it these things are so minor. Who cares if he said a recruits name on the radio or set up some smoke machine. Its not even a big deal to me what he said about Meyer cheating to a bunch of boosters and Vol fans. So to the journalists at KNS who continue to write article after article about Kiffin and his secondary violations, please stop. Deliver some news about the team or about the two visitors we had this weekend or nothing at all.

jeremy78tn writes:

in response to Bigger_Al:

"Tuscaloosa John" Adams is a pea-brained flea with no more of an idea of what a Vol fan wants to read than my Golden Retriever.

But at least people like my Golden Retriever...

"Tuscaloosa John" lmao

theoldbear writes:

I still have no confidence in Kiffin, and feel that the staff is made up of rejects, reporbates, and outlaws.

3-9 in '09. Probation in '10.

Hope I'm wrong, but he hasn't shown me a thing to change my mind.

Gchild writes:

in response to theoldbear:

I still have no confidence in Kiffin, and feel that the staff is made up of rejects, reporbates, and outlaws.

3-9 in '09. Probation in '10.

Hope I'm wrong, but he hasn't shown me a thing to change my mind.

Hasn't shown you anything in the zero games he has coached so far? What exactly are you looking for him to show you in January and February?

tennezz writes:

Has anyone noticed that bammers are crytng about satans latest blunder in memphis. They are saying kiffin turned them in. I thought bammers owned memphis! [Boosters must have run out of money?] They are really whinnnnning on bammer sites. [Buck Famma]

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

I wonder if Kiffin has the stones to dismiss star players, or to bench them in big games. I'm betting he does.

I don't know the athletic department rule book. I am sure there is a procedure for all violations. I do NOT know if a coach can VOILA dismiss a player. If they can, though, I'd like to see Kiffin be aggressive with it.

One of the things Cutcliffe brought back to UT was discipline. It showed on the field. Cutcliffe leaves, and we go back to stupid peanalties and mistakes. Yeah, Cut leaving cost Phil his job. That water is gone.

I am very happy to see most vol fans support Lane. I know I tend to be 'lane, shut up until you prove it', but I was brought up that way: you don't ever boast, you poor mouth like old Bear Bryant and all those guys used to do. It really IS a different age, and ... here goes, don't get mad:

a LOT of UT's recruits are black players. A lot of those guys talk smack, on and off the field. IMHO, they may respond well to KIffin TALKING SMACK. Am I wrong?? This isn't meant to be racist, just an observation.

DrJCrown_theMagicMan writes:

This is off topic but a very good question indeed...
Does anyone know how many Valentine's Tebow got from Men?

ChattVol2485 writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

HAHA! I love that joke and use it as often as possible.

You know what the Bear would be doing if he was alive right now? Digging and scratching to get out of that grave.

elsinoresam writes:

John Adams has a plan.....
Read what he had to say about Majors and Fulmer back in '92. History is repeating itself. Bad coach/good coach.... Then bad coach. Read the other papers around the SEC. We are the only one with a hometown paper that has a negative attitude about the home team and a positive view of everyone, anyone else.
After all these years they haven't fired him, so I guess there is only one way to get rid of him.

Oenoboy writes:

in response to Timed_vol:

I wonder if Kiffin has the stones to dismiss star players, or to bench them in big games. I'm betting he does.

I don't know the athletic department rule book. I am sure there is a procedure for all violations. I do NOT know if a coach can VOILA dismiss a player. If they can, though, I'd like to see Kiffin be aggressive with it.

One of the things Cutcliffe brought back to UT was discipline. It showed on the field. Cutcliffe leaves, and we go back to stupid peanalties and mistakes. Yeah, Cut leaving cost Phil his job. That water is gone.

I am very happy to see most vol fans support Lane. I know I tend to be 'lane, shut up until you prove it', but I was brought up that way: you don't ever boast, you poor mouth like old Bear Bryant and all those guys used to do. It really IS a different age, and ... here goes, don't get mad:

a LOT of UT's recruits are black players. A lot of those guys talk smack, on and off the field. IMHO, they may respond well to KIffin TALKING SMACK. Am I wrong?? This isn't meant to be racist, just an observation.

Good googly moogly. You act that blacks and whites are a different species. Some players talk smack, some players do not. It is not color specific.

I'll give you that your comments were not "meant to be racist" but, intent aside, they very much were.

notoriousBIGorange writes:

in response to scottman98:

I belive Hamilton has much more confidence in clk than he ever did in Foolmer

Of course, Hamilton hired Kiffin...he didn't hire Coach Fulmer (and he is not a fool). We're all TN fans. Let's show some respect for both CLK AND CPF.

gmccown007#392764 writes:

in response to theoldbear:

I still have no confidence in Kiffin, and feel that the staff is made up of rejects, reporbates, and outlaws.

3-9 in '09. Probation in '10.

Hope I'm wrong, but he hasn't shown me a thing to change my mind.

Oh, MAN, please, God, just tell me, WHERE can I actually find you!! WHY??? So that you and I --- for REAL --- can go $10,000 a game for the ENTIRE schedule this coming season! For example, if you were to be right --- precisely as you predicted (3W 9L)--- I would owe you $60,000. BUT if the VOLS were to go 9W 3L you would owe ME $60,000, etc., etc. (If that's too difficult for your tiny little knob, all you would need to "see" would be for Tennessee to have yet another losing season (5W 6L)for you to get your "1st" 10K from me. (As well as the absolute GUARANTEE that you could not possibly end up in the "red" from that point onward). (And, of course, vice versa)!
My friend, I am dead serious. Please, please, PLEASE don't just disappear on me. Quite easily, we can make this thing actually happen.
Now, it's time to put up or shut up!
(***Nota bene***)
Of course, either party is free to "notify" our community of fellow "bloggers" as to just who is "putting up" as well as, quite naturally, who is "shutting up".

teampenny#658108 writes:

This AD has brought a lot of money into program. With the largest athletic budget in the SEC he has to few championships. This is a make or break hire for him. I believe MH like most of us would prefer positive articles about our University. Winning may cure all problems. We will see. GO VOLS

DrJCrown_theMagicMan writes:

in response to gmccown007#392764:

Oh, MAN, please, God, just tell me, WHERE can I actually find you!! WHY??? So that you and I --- for REAL --- can go $10,000 a game for the ENTIRE schedule this coming season! For example, if you were to be right --- precisely as you predicted (3W 9L)--- I would owe you $60,000. BUT if the VOLS were to go 9W 3L you would owe ME $60,000, etc., etc. (If that's too difficult for your tiny little knob, all you would need to "see" would be for Tennessee to have yet another losing season (5W 6L)for you to get your "1st" 10K from me. (As well as the absolute GUARANTEE that you could not possibly end up in the "red" from that point onward). (And, of course, vice versa)!
My friend, I am dead serious. Please, please, PLEASE don't just disappear on me. Quite easily, we can make this thing actually happen.
Now, it's time to put up or shut up!
(***Nota bene***)
Of course, either party is free to "notify" our community of fellow "bloggers" as to just who is "putting up" as well as, quite naturally, who is "shutting up".

Now you are talking and Old Bear may be of some use after all.

I want to bet with old bear on that 3-9 record also.

I think now that Kiffin is coach maybe some of us will not bet against our own team anymore though like everyone did when the "point shaver" Fulmer was coach.

Fulmer did like to keep it close huh?

DrJCrown_theMagicMan writes:

Wonder who old bear is saying our 9 loses will be against?

I say all these are wins!!!!!!

1.Western Ky
2.UCLA
3.OHIO
4.GAWJA
5.USC
6.Memphis
7.Vanderbilt
8.Kentucky

Old Miss and ALA are too hard to call but we have a better shot at ALA than Old Miss.
You say thats crazy I say no its not ALA has no QB and Old Miss is very good they beat FLA and looked good last year and they will be better this year.Old Miss may have the 2nd best QB in the SEC also.

Freehawk writes:

Kiffin is tremendous entertainment value. Thanks, Mr Hamilton.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to Oenoboy:

Good googly moogly. You act that blacks and whites are a different species. Some players talk smack, some players do not. It is not color specific.

I'll give you that your comments were not "meant to be racist" but, intent aside, they very much were.

Look, I spend a TON of time at AAU tournaments and in basketball gyms. Like it or not, there is a HUGE difference in how American blacks and American whites approach the game. What you term 'racist' I just atrribute to 'grouping', as, for examplw, European whites differ from American whites.

Get it?? A similar 'grouping' Country and western guys as opposed to Hollister preppies as opposed to rappers....so, no, it's not about race per se', it is just that race defines the groups involved in this discussion.

TennesseeTuxedo writes:

ZERO, NADA-ARRESTS thus far.

When was the last time you could say that about a Fulmer team?

PennVol writes:

Everyone should check out the 3-4 page Sports Illustrated article this week on Kiffin. Hardesty says they're up and running at 5:30 in January where they waited until February with Fulmer. Kiffin showed up at an 8 am math class to make sure Eric Berry was in the class. Most of the article is about Kiffin's relentless pursuit of getting what he wants (including Layla!).

tennesseebee writes:

in response to notoriousBIGorange:

Of course, Hamilton hired Kiffin...he didn't hire Coach Fulmer (and he is not a fool). We're all TN fans. Let's show some respect for both CLK AND CPF.

Amen, notorious. I totally agree. I hate to see people trash coach Fulmer. He did great things and now he is gone. There's no need for that. I question whether these are true TN fans who do that.

Volalumnus writes:

Many won't admit it and many will hate to hear it ...but... Adams was right all along ...and he is still right.

He has been more concerned about what the TN program needs to be better than many on these boards who claim they are life long TN fans yet seem to be more concerned about the prestige of one man that a whole program and history.

82cat writes:

Here are the 3 violations

1.Using a smoke machine when a recruit walked in the stadium
(Tennessee doesn't use a "smoke machine" when the team comes on the field so how is this simulating a game day type simulation?)

2.Coaches asking a recruit questions in a press conference type setting
(Remove the table ask the same questions = no problem)

3.Saying a recruits name
( You can say that kid from whatever city state high school just don't say his name. Kiffin was asked by the radio guy specifically about Bryce Brown . He answered and repeated the name.Based on the NCAA he should have said "I can't mention a recruit by name but the kid form ----- city ------- state-------hs is a real stud. heres a news flash that particular recuit is the no#1 recuit in the nation pretty sure everyone would know who he was talking about.

Whether you like Kiffin or Saban or whoever I think this says more for the silliness of the NCAA than anything else.

PaulTheVol writes:

There is a sense of urgency with this coaching staff and with the players that was missing before. In comparison, you can see how the old staff had gotten too comfortable in what they were doing and it showed with the deterioration of play on the field and the lack of discipline off of it.

This team will likely struggle its first couple of years - we are simply too thin on offense compared to the elite of the SEC - but after CLK's recruits start to roll in then I believe we will see some spectacular results. In other words, I have drunk the Kool-Aid!

VOLinDAWGland writes:

Keys to football:
- intensity
- discipline
- sacrifice
- talent
- toughness
- schemes/coaching

Fulmer mostly succeeded at bringing in talent, but fell short without Cutcliff on demanding discipline, toughness, intensity, sacrifice and schemes/coaching. Fulmer liked the idea of being a HC, he just either didn't care to or didn't know how to demand the rest of the necessary winning ingredients.

One of the side benefits of working these kids tales off and monitoring them closely in the clssroom is these kids won't have much time or energy to waste getting in trouble. They're going to learn that the successes on the field as a reward for hard work and sacrifice are infinately more rewarding than getting a buzz and being crazy at 3 am. The kids who don't get this will be gone.

I love the open practice policy Kiffen will implement. What was Fulmer trying to hide???

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