Summitt on Kiffin: not surprised but disappointed

Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt said she was not surprised but was disappointed in learning that Lane Kiffin had resigned as football coach at Tennessee after one season to accept the top job at Southern California.

"You only want people who want to be here," Summitt said Wednesday. "I understand the ties (to USC) but why move your whole family here and leave?"

"Even though he was here just over a year," Summitt said that she got to know Kiffin and said that she would trade text messages with him after games.

"(Athletic director) Mike Hamilton had to be thinking we had a great football coach," added Summitt. "I'm disappointed. With that (Southern Cal) job being open I'm not surprised but I am disappointed."

Speaking to the reaction to Kiffin's departure, she said, "One thing about him, he has thick skin. If this is what he wanted to do, this is what he's going to do."

Get Copyright Permissions © 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 41

vol88 writes:

Thick skin like a snake.

235lbVol writes:

We need another Summitt and Pearl, excited and hungry to be a Vol.

Biggie writes:

Coach Summitt has class....I would have said something ugly about Skippy leaving like he did.

volover writes:

wish her character would have rubbed off on him, pierce

NCVOL09 writes:

Pat, I think you should improve your legacy by adding a new sport to your repertoire. You would surely have the discipline part already set and I honestly believe you could learn the game of football. What do you say?

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

Pat, it helps knowing that you're here...always wise, loyal, and faithful. Wish you'd had more time to rub off on Kiffin.

RobinSports writes:

please get Peterson from Boise!

FearTheVols1252 writes:

Summitt - grab some pads and cleats and coach these boys up! We know you'll be loyal!

ps11824 writes:

I'm glad we can comment on this thread because there's no use commenting on other articles. They are way crazy. No one can possible read 1000+ comments without losing their mind.

We should be happy this guy is leaving. He betrayed the University. Our program will survive even though it is in shambles today. We might convince Jeff Fisher to coach the Vols. Or, Tuberville. I just hope we can better the situation instead of going backwards right now.

thevoice writes:

Time to put USC on the football schedule! Looks like Kiff will be there a while. Heck, they already have our ex-basketball coach. I guess UT is considered USC East.

OrangePride writes:

Absolutely right, CPS. We only need people who passionately want to be here. So Lane Kiffin......and the rest of you..........pack your stuff and get out!! This is a setback and bad situation, but the University of Tennessee will survive and prosper.....we need people like Pat and Bruce.

BIGEJ writes:

Get Peyton to help get Dungy. Great man of values n coach

MillisaAnn writes:

I agree Pat should interview the candiates for the job and give kiffin her stare.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to RobinSports:

please get Peterson from Boise!

Agree 100%.

awh writes:

Coach Summitt, you can't get better class than that!!!

gillblog writes:

in response to allVolinGA:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Correct on all points.
Seriously, Pat should absolutely be on the interview committee for a new HC and her judgement should carry a whole lot of weight with Hamilton.


GO VOLS ! ! !

mahabrando writes:

Doubt I could ever try to put it better than Pat did.

They homerun in this article? When Pat said; "You only want people who want to be here,"

The rest was just her being the calm good character Summit we know.

YankeeVol writes:

Kiffin = Loser

Not to be hostile, but I said that from the start.

Hopefully UT will choose a new football coach who has successfully completed puberty this time.

PureOrange writes:

Guess even Kiffin realized he could never measure up to Pat Summitt. Of course, to be a Pat Summitt, you begin with character and integrity, and Lane Kiffin and Oregeon have proven to us all that they do not have either. And Pat has proven herself over a lot of years, both as a person and as the best coach in any sport.

lcwisme writes:

Wish there were more Pat Summitts in the world. I have long said that more coaches should take notes from her. She expects excellence from her players – on the court and off. That includes in the CLASSROOM and in the community!! A good player is not only athletic, but intelligent as well. Criminals and liars need not apply in my opinion when it comes to being either a player or a coach.

theoldbear writes:

Pat said it all when she said that we only want (and need) people who want to be here.

I said 14 months ago that this would go down as the worst hire in UT history. There is no joy in being right.

His character and ethics were always questionable, and Lane Kiffin demonstrated that he has no character and no ethics in the way he is leaving, and trying to take as many recruits with him as he can.

As to concerns that he is going to a team that is soon to be on NCAA probation, what makes anyone think he isn't leaving a team facing NCAA probation for the unethical practices of the very coach he's taking with him?

ps11824 writes:

I would love to see Tony Dungy on Rocky Top.

ps11824 writes:

A person of integrity, a UT Volunteer ambassador would be nice. . . not Leach, please. Dungy, Tuberbville fiot the bill

gslaton#227127 writes:

I hope Pat becomes Athletic Director after she retires. She knows'em when she sees'em.

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

We just gotta remember that we're Vols fans not because of loving a coach and what he/she does or doesn't do, or how badly they backstab you, but we're Vols fans because of what we've grown up to be, loving our state and the university. Tough pill to swallow, but it's the truth.


Its too bad that CLK did not stick around long enough to be around CPS more. He could have really learned alot! Without the knowledge that he would have absorbed from her, he is going to have a really rough time at USC. Pat said it all, "We want people here that want to be here", so bye bye Kiff! Thanks for turning your back on the VolNation...which again, shows your true character. We will be just fine without you!

volfan#207874 writes:

Pat Summitt, you are the epitome of CLASS.

uttcut writes:

in response to 235lbVol:

We need another Summitt and Pearl, excited and hungry to be a Vol.

100% agree

RockyTop1_old writes:

Not unseen but waht a waste this year! I feel sorry for our LOYAL players!

OrangeBlood54 writes:

in response to vol88:

Thick skin like a snake.


50_50_fl_tn writes:

should we ask the janitor how he feels about Lane Kiffin, Kiffin was bringing in a class of recruits that carrol or fat Phil could not bring
If you remeber UT fans were so split about him,O he dosent ware a suit O he is not following this or that but he was tring what he had seen work,he has champion blood from his dad and will continue and it is hard to see him go but half of you turn coats didn't want him so a house divided can't stand.

WLafIndianavol writes:

in response to RobinSports:

please get Peterson from Boise!

Yes, please!

My 3 choices when Kiffin was hired were Brian Kelly, Jon Gruden and Chris Peterson (Boise State). With Kelly now at ND, I am replacing him with Gary Patterson (TCU). If Peterson and Patterson can recruit and win at Boise State and TCU, imagine what they could do with a much larger recruiting budget, better fan base and better facilities at Tennessee!

bullit writes:

Pat Summit is the best. We love Peral, but when he leaves, we'll hate him. Nobody is in Pat's class.

Saban_Palin writes:

As a Bama grad, I sure hope you do get Peterson from wimpy Boise St.

Volfantm writes:

Just read article on foxsports on Kiffin the weasel. Loved the photo.
But, Im not sure how many coaching choices will want to step into this mess.

chaos001 writes:

I think this is, in Pat's on special way, her saying that she knew he was a opportunistic leech the whole time.

Thank GOD for Pat!!!

movol53 writes:

The Air Force coach does a great job every year and he does not have to recruit; he must make do with who attends the school and wants to play football. A couple of years ago we were very lucky to win against them. Calhoun I believe is his name.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to RobinSports:

please get Peterson from Boise!

Won't be him. His son has a rare medical condition and the local facility in Boise is the best one in the nation for whatever he has.....peterson would be nice, but nope.

mmynatt writes:

Pat did not go to UT, but once she got the job she has remained loyal and fiercely orange. I admire her toughness and integrity more than anyone else I have ever known.

I know I was in the group that thought Phil should have been sent packing last year, but at least he had class and integrity; plus he was loyal to the Vols. I think Hamilton needs to go sooner than later; but unfortunately the trustees are leaving it to him to hire the next Lane Kiffin. If Muschamp is hired he will be gone within a year or two as well; plus he is an old Bulldog.

BigRMan writes:

What I don't get about Kiffin is precisely the point made by Mike Wilbon on PTI last night. What has this guy done to have so many plumb jobs thrown at him? What's so special about his resume. TO 98: I think Dungy is through with coaching. Good choice, but no chance. I hope UT gets David Cutcliff back from Duke. Cutcliff has real ties to UT and will have an improved talent pool over what he has to work with at Duke!

Salpointe writes:

Pat Summitt - always a class act even in the face of her own personal tragedies! She is (and always will be) the heart and soul of the Vols! We should all learn from her.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.