Kiffins' flight to Florida, sales pitch able to seal deal for Orgeron

A plane trip to Florida. A surprise visit by a pair of Tennessee coaches. And a deal-sealing conversation in the living room.

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin and his father, UT defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, did it all on Wednesday.

Even during the NCAA's dead period for recruiting, the Kiffins still found a way to sway one of their most prized prospects - Ed Orgeron.

Gathered with his family in Destin, Fla., the former Ole Miss coach sat down to choose among his top three suitors: Tennessee, LSU or a return to the New Orleans Saints, where Orgeron spent 2008 coaching the defensive line.

Soon, though, Orgeron's wife informed him of a call from Lane Kiffin asking for the address where the Orgerons were staying.

"I said, 'They're coming. I'm telling you, they're on the plane. I know this guy,' " said Orgeron, who coached with the younger Kiffin at Southern California and hired Lane's brother, Chris Kiffin, as a graduate assistant at Ole Miss.

Sure enough, the Kiffins knocked on the door and delivered their pitch - and likely a sweetened financial package - that pushed Rocky Top over the top.

"I was really leaning towards coming to Tennessee the whole time, but when him and Monte showed up at my doorstep, it just sewed the whole thing up," Orgeron said Friday after being announced as UT's assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach. "It just goes to show you. He'll talk about my recruiting. He's a fantastic recruiter himself."

It wasn't long ago that Monte Kiffin was being recruited.

Despite a genetic connection to UT's new head coach, the 68-year-old Kiffin still took a little selling.

Since 1983 - when he chose a job with the Green Bay Packers over an offer from former UT coach Johnny Majors to run the Vols defense - Monte Kiffin has been in the NFL. His "Tampa 2" defense became a football standard, and he'd been with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 1996.

The Kiffins never really discussed coaching together until Lane became the Oakland Raiders coach in 2007. But that situation, as has been well documented, wasn't a good fit for the elder Kiffin.

Neither was the University of Minnesota, where Lane interviewed following the 2007 season or with the University of Washington, where Lane interviewed in November.

The chances of his father joining him were almost nil at either of those two jobs.

"It had a lot to do with the University of Tennessee," Monte Kiffin said Friday. "But I also base that on the fact that I really believe Lane could do it. It's not just the son-father thing why I'm here... I didn't come to Tennessee to lose. That doesn't mean we're going to go undefeated next year, I know that."

But Monte Kiffin also knew the subtext of the conversation each time his son would call, telling him how "you won't believe this or that" about Tennessee.

"It's just every day he would call," Monte Kiffin said. "It's kind of like recruiting. I was kind of back and forth. He recruited hard."

After swaying his father, Lane Kiffin found a way to land another coach vital to his plans for Tennessee.

"Ed was a big hire, now," Monte Kiffin said. "At one time, he was going to go back to the Saints. LSU made a big, big push. You're probably going to hear in the next few days the push that they made."

Reports out of Orgeron's native Louisiana had that push valued at more than $500,000 a year and a similar title.

Still, when Orgeron sat down to make a list of each destination's positives and negatives - the same way he tells recruits to make their decisions - Tennessee and the Kiffins won out.

"UT came out plus-17," Orgeron said, "just to let you guys know."

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

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Comments » 37

NoogaVol55 writes:

Lets bring in the players now fellas. Coaching staff is coming together nicely....

rootin4volz writes:

This is shaping up nicely.

cobbwebb writes:

weve got most of our guys in place, get after the remaining 09 recruits, and start laying the groundwork for 2010! these guys may not pan out, and at first i was skeptical, but i am now on board the kiffin express 100%! GO VOLS!!!

VolNBham writes:

Rammer Jammer...BAMMER'S GETTING HAMMERED!

yeavols#228407 writes:

I stayed up late to make this announcement. I just want to give my sincerest and deepest apologies to my dearest Alabama fans everywhere across America and especially those that come into our forum and onto our chat boards. I am offering my condolences to Alabama and their coach for their Much deserved LOSS to Utah and how they got smoked like a Cuban cigar in the 1st quarter (21-0) and that their feeble attempt to come back in the 4th was disasterous. The greatest reward out of all of that is that the Bama blow hards like South Carolina won't be on our boards. The better news yet is that one more game looms to run out the rest of the blow hards that come here and talk smack. Lastly, I would much rather stay home than take a beating on national television. Have a great new year!

SignalMtnVol writes:

in response to VolNBham:

Rammer Jammer...BAMMER'S GETTING HAMMERED!

hahahahahahahahahahahaha

(gasp)

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Don't ya just love that bummer's getting their a ss drilled!

VolNBham writes:

in response to SignalMtnVol:

hahahahahahahahahahahaha

(gasp)

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Don't ya just love that bummer's getting their a ss drilled!

When you're a Vol in Alabama....you enjoy anything that involves Alabama getting drilled....even at the expense of the conference.

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

in response to NoogaVol55:

Lets bring in the players now fellas. Coaching staff is coming together nicely....

Yu are number 1 and your post is too (2)

HonoluluVol writes:

in response to Rok_Etop:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why post meaningless statements just to post. That 1st and 2nd stuff is reallt childish. And shows a lack of maturity. By no means are you the only one. It gets old seeing that phooey on every article.

VolNBham writes:

I can't wait to hear all the phooey excuses from the Birmingham media about how this team has been ahead of schedule all year and next year will really be there year. Phooey I say!

WYLOVER writes:

I think it was the $s that attracted Org.

volfan1967 writes:

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa let the excuses start rolling in from the Bama fans.. Rammer Bammer Jammer my butt.... They got flushed down the drain tonight... And for all you ppl that scream SEC all the time pull for your team UT.... GO VOLS!!!!!!!!

volfan1967 writes:

I hope Nick Satan does go looking and I hope he finds him a good job. He is a cheat and soon he will be exposed kinda like he was tonight.... HaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaHaaaaaaaaaa

shipperman#280095 writes:

Poor old Bammers...HA HA HA...The Gators are next to get drilled

VolNBham writes:

Maybe Nick will resign and Lane will fly to T-town to hire Nick as Co-Defensive Coordinator, paying hime $5 million per year! HA HA

2407westTN_VOLSfan writes:

Now the media is talking about UTAH being undefeated - should be the number one team in the nation. Just like they were pushing USC to be the number one team after beating Penn State. The system picks the 2 BEST teams to play in the last game. That is Florida and Okie State this year. I don't care for a one plus system, bring in the playoffs if the system is going to change in any way!
Now to the POST and Coach O and Monte going to Memphis on Sunday night to meet the state's top prospect! Get 'em signed for UT, we need more of the 5* signees on the team.
Looking good already for the new season. I am interested to see how many commit to UT from the High School All Star game on Sunday night.

blitzshoot writes:

Should have looked at Wittingham closer.

VolFaninTriCities writes:

245 days until Football Time in Tennessee. I am freakin' pumped!!!!

HonoluluVol writes:

in response to blitzshoot:

Should have looked at Wittingham closer.

whatever, we have a COACH with a very formidable staff that knows recruiting. If we would have looked at Wittingham, recruits would say Coach Who? Instead they know how their dealing with now. Just tighten up your seat belt and enjoy the ride. DIG IT!!!!

Bufforange00 writes:

now we just need a good kicking coach

Bufforange00 writes:

...as in kicking these players' a sses.

txsvol#372416 writes:

When Bama and Spurrier are losers, who cares if the PAC-10 @ 5-0 wins the bowl conferences title, or whatever ESPN calls it? It's a great day to be a Tennessee Vol! SAVol

MidTennVol writes:

Coach O, go get REUBEN RANDLE please!

carters_dad writes:

in response to VolNBham:

I can't wait to hear all the phooey excuses from the Birmingham media about how this team has been ahead of schedule all year and next year will really be there year. Phooey I say!

who is thier QB next year?

carters_dad writes:

matter of fact, who is the QB for alabama, georgia, or florida next year? JPW and MS are both seniors aren't they and tebow would absolutly be crazy not to go pro or try anyway.

Displaced_Vol_Fan writes:

in response to carters_dad:

matter of fact, who is the QB for alabama, georgia, or florida next year? JPW and MS are both seniors aren't they and tebow would absolutly be crazy not to go pro or try anyway.

Tebow's not going pro, he knows his game does not translate to the NFL. Not as a QB anyway. I'm sure he'll be a RB or WR, maybe DB, but not a QB. Just my opinion.............

Volumni writes:

in response to blitzshoot:

Should have looked at Wittingham closer.

SHUT UP!

If wittingham was here, some of you losers would be whining about that too.
Just Shut the f^&k up or move to Utah. We have the best coaching staff we've ever had here, and are ready to roll.

PennVol writes:

I just hope all of these big names coaches can get some chemistry amongst themselves and coach our recruits UP. If so, great things should happen. But they need to leave their NFL egos at the gates of Neyland on Saturday afternoon. Hopefully, we don't have too many chiefs and not enough indians on the coaching staff.

ColumbusVol writes:

in response to Displaced_Vol_Fan:

Tebow's not going pro, he knows his game does not translate to the NFL. Not as a QB anyway. I'm sure he'll be a RB or WR, maybe DB, but not a QB. Just my opinion.............

Probably convert him to a TE. He has the typical size and mobility to excel in the pros at TE.

HallowedHill writes:

in response to Displaced_Vol_Fan:

Tebow's not going pro, he knows his game does not translate to the NFL. Not as a QB anyway. I'm sure he'll be a RB or WR, maybe DB, but not a QB. Just my opinion.............

I think Tebow would be foolish to leave since he will fail in the NFL like other famous UF qb's.

He's not a good enough passer to be qb.
He's not a good enough runner to be a RB.
He's not durable enough to be a TE.
He's not fast enough to be a WR.
His best shot would be a trick-play guy which would eventually be a locker room cheerleader.
Tebow is a winner and one of the classiest guys to play at the college level, however, IMO, I just don't see any of his skills translating well to the NFL.
He may best be suited for a booth job with ESPN.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to carters_dad:

matter of fact, who is the QB for alabama, georgia, or florida next year? JPW and MS are both seniors aren't they and tebow would absolutly be crazy not to go pro or try anyway.

Matthew Stafford is a junior, but I believe both he and Morena (sp) (also a junior)are weighing their options with the NFL.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

VOL_FREAK_91 writes:

in response to carters_dad:

matter of fact, who is the QB for alabama, georgia, or florida next year? JPW and MS are both seniors aren't they and tebow would absolutly be crazy not to go pro or try anyway.

Wilson is a senior and stafford is a junior but stafford would benefit from going pro right now because at the current point in time his stock cant get any higher he is looking to be a top five pick right now. He should be gone, and it has been said already that tebow's game wont translate well to the pros. GO VOLS!!!

RTB writes:

The above analyses of Tebow look correct to me. I can't think of a single NFL team that might be willing to sign him, except maybe Atlanta. I think we will learn more about Tebow's pro prospects in the Fla-OK game on the 8th.

Along that line, I was pleased yesterday to see Peyton Manning get the AP MVP for the NFL this year. I cannot quickly remember the name of the corner back from Michigan who beat him out for the Heisman, but I don't recall him getting any NFL-MVP. When Peyton retires, I wonder what he will want to do?

cainclifton23 writes:

in response to HallowedHill:

I think Tebow would be foolish to leave since he will fail in the NFL like other famous UF qb's.

He's not a good enough passer to be qb.
He's not a good enough runner to be a RB.
He's not durable enough to be a TE.
He's not fast enough to be a WR.
His best shot would be a trick-play guy which would eventually be a locker room cheerleader.
Tebow is a winner and one of the classiest guys to play at the college level, however, IMO, I just don't see any of his skills translating well to the NFL.
He may best be suited for a booth job with ESPN.

If I was a good team.
that has an established QB.

I would draft Tebow. 2nd or 3rd roung.

Let him learn and develop the mechanics and everything for 3 or 4 years.

Then he could turn into a solid QB.

you know he is competetive and would be willing to learn.

MLS_1 writes:

TELL ME SOMETHING. HOW IS IT THAT CLK'S NEW VISION OF FOOTBALL DOESN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH ANY BLACK COACHES. EVERYTIME I HEAR OF A RUMOR OR A NEW HIRE, HE'S WHITE. I'M JUST SAYING HE WANT'S BLACK PLAYERS,WHY NOT SOME BLACK COACHES. I'M SURE THAT THERE ARE SOME BLACK COACHES OUT THERE THAT CAN BE AN ASSET TO U.T. WE ALL WANT THE BEST COACHES AND THE BEST PLAYERS. BUT WHETHER CLK BELIEVES IT OR NOT THERE ARE GOOD BLACK COACHES. NOT JUST FOR WATERBOYS OR BALLBOYS.

orangebloodgmc writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

"Poor old Bammers...HA HA HA...The Gators are next to get drilled"

"I highly doubt it. UF is on another level with talent, and OU without Murray are going to be hurt. A 50% Percy Harvin is better than nothing."

So, you think Oklahoma is better or worse than Ole Miss?

MarbleVol48 writes:

Ole Miss should have doubled back to NOLA and played Utah ?

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