John Adams: Would UT do to others what Lane Kiffin did to it?

John Adams
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Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin reacts to a call during the Vols' 31-16 win over Vanderbilt in 2009.

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adam brimer/News Sentinel Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin reacts to a call during the Vols' 31-16 win over Vanderbilt in 2009.

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Would Tennessee " Kiffin" somebody?

That's something to think about when the Vols begin their search for a successor to football coach Derek Dooley.

As some UT fans might vaguely remember, coach Lane Kiffin left the Vols after only one season for the head-coaching job at Southern California. UT is still trying to recover from his hasty departure.

But suppose Tennessee found itself in USC's position. Would it hire a coach who had been at another school for only a year?

Would it Kiffin somebody?

I raise the question for a couple of reasons:

UT's football program is at such a low ebb, it can ill afford restrictions in its coaching search.

There are so many coaches who have distinguished themselves in their first season at a school.

The most obvious one is former Florida coach Urban Meyer, whose first Ohio State team is unbeaten. It's just as obvious UT has no chance of hiring Meyer. He already has a better job, and it doesn't require him to coach against Nick Saban every year.

Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin falls into the same category. UT had a shot at him three years ago when he was at Houston. Now, he has a better job, an upset of No. 1 Alabama on his resume and a freshman quarterback in the running for the Heisman Trophy.

Below Meyer and Sumlin are first-year coaches Rich Rodriguez at Arizona and Jim Mora Jr. at UCLA. Neither one is a one-year wonder. Rodriguez had great success at West Virginia, and was Alabama's choice when things initially weren't working out with Saban. Mora had two NFL head-coaching jobs before succeeding Rick Neuheisel at UCLA after last season.

Rodriguez isn't without baggage, most of it acquired in a disastrous stint at Michigan. Also, his exit from West Virginia wasn't exactly graceful.

But the guy can coach, especially offense. He was one of the first coaches to embrace the spread, which he employed as an offensive coordinator at Tulane when it went 12-0 in 1998.

His offense hasn't slowed down at Arizona, which ranks 18th nationally in rushing and 14th in passing.

Mora first made a name for himself on defense before he was named head coach of the Atlanta Falcons in 2004, and later with the Seattle Seahawks in 2009, who fired him after only one season. Failure in the NFL doesn't mean much, though. Even Bill Belichick got fired by the Cleveland Browns.

UCLA already has won eight games under Mora. In six previous seasons, under two different coaches, the Bruins never won more than seven.

"Why would either Mora or Rodriguez leave his job for UT after a successful first season?" you ask.

Good question. After extensive research, I've determined that Tennessee isn't their dream job.

Arizona State coach Todd Graham doesn't need a dream to change jobs after a year. He already has Kiffined two programs, first Rice in 2006 and then Pittsburgh in 2011.

After last season, he told Panthers players goodbye via email and rushed off to Arizona State. All he left behind was a nickname: "Mr. All Talk Then Walk."

Actually, he's not all talk. He was 7-6 at Rice, 36-17 at Tulsa, and is now 5-5 at Arizona State, which returned only eight starters and has had four consecutive losing seasons.

If the Vols' coaching search turns desperate — and they're not above Kiffining somebody — Graham could be their guy.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 136

jack4444 writes:

John working so hard to push Volfan buttons.

volfan53 writes:

What a stupid article. And to believe you actually get paid for this.

OLROCKYTOP writes:

Rich Rod never had a defensive mindset, Graham is at best a lateral move from Dooley if we look ahead three years, the idea of Mora don't sound bad, but I dont see him leaving LA for Knoxville, unless there is a tie that I am unaware of.

shorttail writes:

JOHN, go to another state

NashvillePreds writes:

This is a juvenile, school-yard attempt to rile fans & create controversy, which seems to represent all that is the penmanship of John Adams.
IMO there is the subjective as well as objective view of things. In all his ranting, the author of the above column fails to distinguish between the two.

ETownVol writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

orange_eVOLution writes:

And after LESS than extensive research, we have no interest in either candidate. Thanks, John.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say if you want Saban coaching talent, you got to pay Saban'esk type money. Witch Doctor say gonna have to dig deep this time. Witch Doctor hope work is being done behind the scene now to save or boost recruiting. Witch Doctor last year saying 5 million a year..but that might be low...Witch Doctor say throw the bank at Gruden..thats how you win in todays sports lets be real Go Vols
Bones never lie.

darbhoo writes:

Adams, I will never read another article you write. You are the most ridiculous writers (please notice I left off sports) I have ever had the displeasure to read. Get a life. I cannot believe the KNS pays you. Tennessee should add $1 to the payout to get rid of you too.

1vavolfan writes:

Very classy KNS. How many articles has Adams written about Dooley's replacement? 3 or 4? And the guy hasn't even been canned yet. To think that Mora, Sumlin, Rodriguez, or Meyer would come here is ridiculous. At best these are lateral career moves, at worst they are a huge step backwards for them. Sumlin just beat Alabama, it would be at least 5 years before he could get close to doing that at UT.

redskinvol1 writes:

GET A WINNER NO MATTER THE COST!!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

I honestly don't understand where all the anger at John Adams comes from.

I also don't see how JA is creating controversy. He's just writing what everyone else is thinking: "Who is going to be UT's next coach?"

I don't like the idea of Jim Mora or Rodriguez, but cut the guy some slack. What's he supposed to write about? How pathetic the Defense is (we know this)? How Tyler Bray is NOT thinking about the NFL (Evan Woodberry has already written a hard hitting piece of journalism covering what Tyler Bray is not thinking about! Excellent!)? The current status of UT's multiple sexual discrimination lawsuits (yes, lets be more depressed!)? How Dave Hart has suddenly developed a fear of press conferences when he should be front and center? The tendencies of message board posters to bellyache when sports writers don't grovel and fawn all over their favorite sports team?

(actually...that one about Hart would make a good article)

You guys seriously need to chill out. Adams is simply writing about the possibilities for a new coach. How is he creating controversy?

VolinCalif writes:

in response to OLROCKYTOP:

Rich Rod never had a defensive mindset, Graham is at best a lateral move from Dooley if we look ahead three years, the idea of Mora don't sound bad, but I dont see him leaving LA for Knoxville, unless there is a tie that I am unaware of.

"unless there is a tie that I am unaware of."
He speaks English I believe.

GerryOP writes:

Man! I have never seen such a bunch of negative whiney people in my life. Is there nothing good in your lives? Do you really wake up asking "What can I find to be negative about today?" Do you judge your day by how many times you make a negative comment about something? Are your lives really that miserable?

But wait, now comes the plantiff cry, "I'm not being negative, I'm just being honest." Yaaaaa ... sure. NO, you're being negative.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Man! I have never seen such a bunch of negative whiney people in my life. Is there nothing good in your lives? Do you really wake up asking "What can I find to be negative about today?" Do you judge your day by how many times you make a negative comment about something? Are your lives really that miserable?

But wait, now comes the plantiff cry, "I'm not being negative, I'm just being honest." Yaaaaa ... sure. NO, you're being negative.

Hey, go read your own post to yourself in the mirror. Nothing I have read on this thread sounded any whinier than that pulp you just posted.

What is your point anyway? Do agree or not agree with anything Adams wrote?

Razor784 writes:

I'm with Adams on this, UT should do what they have to do to get a decent coach, even if they "Kiffen" somebody to get a winner. It beat's losing to Missouri and being an underdog to Vandy.

silicon28 writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

This is a juvenile, school-yard attempt to rile fans & create controversy, which seems to represent all that is the penmanship of John Adams.
IMO there is the subjective as well as objective view of things. In all his ranting, the author of the above column fails to distinguish between the two.

Adams is just doing his job. And yep, that means ticking people off and getting more page views. Best not to look too far into his columns beyond that one truth - certainly not for any informed opinions about UT football; that's not in his job description, except for being the launch pad to keep his own little "pot" stirred...

born2ride writes:

#1 - Dooley is still the UT Football Coach.

#2 - Urban Meyer is not coming here.

#3 - No to Rich Rodriguez and Jim Mora Jr.

#4 - We don't need a "Kiffen" or a coach who changes jobs after one year.

#5 - We still have two games to win,

takespix writes:

Kind of what Tennessee did to Johnny Majors and Phillip Fulmer right?

pcorange writes:

I hope we stay above board. It's kinda like an old saying, "If she'll screw around with you, she'll screw around on you." We don't need the type trash who would ditch their school after one year, unless it is at a mid-major program that expects their coaches to be cherry picked. Tennessee is better than that. By the way, John Adams needs to just shut up. Dooley hasn't been fired, and I've seen nothing substantiated to indicate that he will be. I really think Hart intends to give him another year unless he loses out.

utbaby#215635 writes:

In my humble opinion, Rich Rod is the best choice. It was pretty amazing what he did at WV with much lower recruting success. Michigan's turnaround was really the time it took to recruit the players to fit his system. UT will do better in the long run to get a creative offensive mind that can thrive with atheletes that aren't 4 or 5 star recruits.

eVOLved writes:

complete trash

mike4vol writes:

Mike Holmgren

Jeff Fischer

Jon Gruden

These are three NFL coaches that UT should seriously consider. There are others, no doubt, but UT MUST come up with a "named" coach--one that will stir immediate recruiting positives and one that will stick around to rebuild a legendary program.

While we're at it, Auburn, you need to take a long, serious look at Phillip Fulmer--great fit for your school. Fulmer will bring you back to championship status--he is one of the elites.

mumfordfan writes:

I never understand why everybody hates on John Adams so much. Imagine having to come up with a new angle every single day. I am actually amazed, on a day in/day out basis, how fresh and original his articles are. He just calls "balls & strikes," and the last thing Vols' fans need at this time is someone to tell us sweet little lies. The truth may be painful, but it is what will liberate us in the long run.

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to pcorange:

I hope we stay above board. It's kinda like an old saying, "If she'll screw around with you, she'll screw around on you." We don't need the type trash who would ditch their school after one year, unless it is at a mid-major program that expects their coaches to be cherry picked. Tennessee is better than that. By the way, John Adams needs to just shut up. Dooley hasn't been fired, and I've seen nothing substantiated to indicate that he will be. I really think Hart intends to give him another year unless he loses out.

It's done. Just waiting for proper timing of the announcement as Hart sees it.

This season was the measuring stick and it did not measure up. Also, recruiting is on the verge of disaster unless a great coaching change is announced. I have supported Dooley all along, but another year of sub-mediocrity does not cut it for UT these days.

Wish Dooley the best and let's make a great hire and get back into contention in the SEC!

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

This should be the test question for any potential new coach: If in a tie game with 42 seconds left, two timeouts and in possession of the ball at your 40 yard line, and one of the best passing offenses in college football (with one of the worst defenses in college football), do you
(a) Try to win the game in regulation so your defense won't have to come back on the field.
(b) Take a knee and let the clock run out so you can see if your defense can stop them in overtime.
Any potential coach who picks (a) would be a tremendous improvement over what we have, even if we hire him away from a middle school.

10Vol85 writes:

After the last two articles, I was expecting something like "If not Cutcliffe, why not Joker Phillips or Gene Chizik?".

I was disappointed when Alabama didn't get Rich Rod. I don't think he would have done well there, either. I sure don't want him at UT.

wazzya69vol writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

I honestly don't understand where all the anger at John Adams comes from.

I also don't see how JA is creating controversy. He's just writing what everyone else is thinking: "Who is going to be UT's next coach?"

I don't like the idea of Jim Mora or Rodriguez, but cut the guy some slack. What's he supposed to write about? How pathetic the Defense is (we know this)? How Tyler Bray is NOT thinking about the NFL (Evan Woodberry has already written a hard hitting piece of journalism covering what Tyler Bray is not thinking about! Excellent!)? The current status of UT's multiple sexual discrimination lawsuits (yes, lets be more depressed!)? How Dave Hart has suddenly developed a fear of press conferences when he should be front and center? The tendencies of message board posters to bellyache when sports writers don't grovel and fawn all over their favorite sports team?

(actually...that one about Hart would make a good article)

You guys seriously need to chill out. Adams is simply writing about the possibilities for a new coach. How is he creating controversy?

Great post. I agree, what's a hot topic right now; not a lot other than CDD and his tenure and possible replacements. I think it's fun reading these "far out suggestions". Oh well, if you don't like his style, don't read it--save yourself some stress. Wazzy

jamalamerican31 writes:

It is not "Kiffening" somebody. We were a stepping stone for Kiffen and if we continue on the same road, we will be a stepping stone for multiple coaches. We need a coach that wants to be here and a contract that will nip the "stepping stone" reputation in the bud!

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

I haven't read the article or comments yet. I've just thinking about the title. Does JA think the University of Tennessee might pack itself up and move to California in the middle of the night?

Imagine the students getting up the morning to go to class and finding nothing but abandoned foundations where all the building had been.

pms151 writes:

If you have something factually to share about a coaching change please share it. Otherwise shut the F up. You are only pretending to wear orange pants and hurting the kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!

govols0463 writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

I haven't read the article or comments yet. I've just thinking about the title. Does JA think the University of Tennessee might pack itself up and move to California in the middle of the night?

Imagine the students getting up the morning to go to class and finding nothing but abandoned foundations where all the building had been.

Wow

govols0463 writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

I haven't read the article or comments yet. I've just thinking about the title. Does JA think the University of Tennessee might pack itself up and move to California in the middle of the night?

Imagine the students getting up the morning to go to class and finding nothing but abandoned foundations where all the building had been.

Based on your other posts, it wouldn't matter if you did read it, because you can't comprehend it.

killervol69 writes:

Mr. Adams, you, Sir, are a jack arse! Can't you come up with anything better to write about? Is this what is commonly referred to as "desperate journalism"? Have faith in Payton and Co. as they assist in the search & selection of our beloved alma mater's next head coach. If we wanted a HC with the name Graham, why not just give Jay Graham the job, good grief!

killervol69 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say if you want Saban coaching talent, you got to pay Saban'esk type money. Witch Doctor say gonna have to dig deep this time. Witch Doctor hope work is being done behind the scene now to save or boost recruiting. Witch Doctor last year saying 5 million a year..but that might be low...Witch Doctor say throw the bank at Gruden..thats how you win in todays sports lets be real Go Vols
Bones never lie.

FINALLY, the doctor is in to weigh in on all this HC controversy! As for me and my clan, we always trust da bones, cause "Bones never lie". Good to see you back on here, WD.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to 10Vol85:

After the last two articles, I was expecting something like "If not Cutcliffe, why not Joker Phillips or Gene Chizik?".

I was disappointed when Alabama didn't get Rich Rod. I don't think he would have done well there, either. I sure don't want him at UT.

A more reasonable suggestion would have been, "Why not Sonny Dykes?"

Aside from people maybe not wanting to take a shot on another La Tech coach, compare him to Dooley, or to any number of other coaches who moved up from the non-BCS world of their first head coaching gig. He has the heritage (Spike Dykes' kid), like Dooley did. La Tech is his first head coaching gig (like Dooley). The differences are that Dykes has been a coordinator at a couple of BCS programs, and in his three seasons at La Tech, he's gone 5-7, 8-5, and is now 9-1 (only loss by 2 points to Texas A&M).

This is a guy who isn't going to be at La Tech for long. If we do replace Dooley, and we aren't going to fork over the big bucks needed for a big name coach, why not Dykes?

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to govols0463:

Based on your other posts, it wouldn't matter if you did read it, because you can't comprehend it.

Now you're just embarrassing yourself.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to govols0463:

Based on your other posts, it wouldn't matter if you did read it, because you can't comprehend it.

I have question for you. Don't get me wrong here, but you're one of the June 5-7 2007 enrollees here. Why zero comments posted in almost 5 1/2 years, then suddenly over 100 in just a couple of weeks? Did one of your other usernames get banned?

ACWLY writes:

I think adams is in hog heaven [literally], he relishes any chance to stick it to Tennessee. When will he ever leave??????

snafu14u#241639 writes:

Actually a good question and a valid point. I would expect UT to do that very thing, and as a Vol I would expect a VFL to drop whatever school he's coaching and come home. ASAP, with haste. No questions asked. Because it should be his dream school. BonzaiVol

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

WE don't have to Kiffin people.

KingDanno (Inactive) writes:

Dumb question, the answer is no. Cause we want a new coach immediately, not just weeks before signing day totally screwing over the university.

Snapshot writes:

in response to GlennFordsFoible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Every minute another setback? Oh man, there is another one, wait there is another one, oh no another....

frblalack writes:

I hope we win our next three games! But if John Adams is the best KNS has to offer, then whatever happens we are assured of the worst possible reporting ever!!!

I hope Coach Dooley can turn this thing around! All Vol fans should rally around our Coaches & Players!

All Vols -Let's Beat Vandy!!! - I think Coach Dooley can make this team a WINNER!!! GBO!

volfan1202 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say if you want Saban coaching talent, you got to pay Saban'esk type money. Witch Doctor say gonna have to dig deep this time. Witch Doctor hope work is being done behind the scene now to save or boost recruiting. Witch Doctor last year saying 5 million a year..but that might be low...Witch Doctor say throw the bank at Gruden..thats how you win in todays sports lets be real Go Vols
Bones never lie.

My thoughts exactly.

volfan1202 writes:

in response to mike4vol:

Mike Holmgren

Jeff Fischer

Jon Gruden

These are three NFL coaches that UT should seriously consider. There are others, no doubt, but UT MUST come up with a "named" coach--one that will stir immediate recruiting positives and one that will stick around to rebuild a legendary program.

While we're at it, Auburn, you need to take a long, serious look at Phillip Fulmer--great fit for your school. Fulmer will bring you back to championship status--he is one of the elites.

Mike, Fulmer did a good job for a while here at UT but the program started declining along with his recruiting with no signs that he was able to or trying to turn it around. This is what led to him losing the job. I'm not trying to bash coach Fulmer, but if anyone in the country thought that he was at this time an "elite" coach, he would already be coaching somewhere else. Heck, he even wanted the job at Memphis when they were looking for a coach and they didn't want him.

volfan1202 writes:

in response to frblalack:

I hope we win our next three games! But if John Adams is the best KNS has to offer, then whatever happens we are assured of the worst possible reporting ever!!!

I hope Coach Dooley can turn this thing around! All Vol fans should rally around our Coaches & Players!

All Vols -Let's Beat Vandy!!! - I think Coach Dooley can make this team a WINNER!!! GBO!

"I think Coach Dooley can make this team a WINNER!!!"

That's funny.

chattbud writes:

FIRE! john adams, he's an idiot!

123forVOLS writes:

Did not read the article, cannot bear the drivel on here. My point is, I will be so glad when this is all sorted out so all the "UT should look at...."junk will cease and we can hopefully get on with life and have expectancy of better days ahead. If you don't like JA and his ways, don't read him as I chose to do on this one. Otherwise, you may speculate, postulate, and respond all you like. The outcome of all this is out of your hands. It seems some want to name anyone and everyone as potential replacement as if when it comes out they can say, "I knew it." What a crock!

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