Kiffin: No more apologies



Destin, Fla.—Lane Kiffin did apologize for using the word “cheat” and Urban Meyer in the same sentence back in February. He was wrong and the SEC commissioner let him know it with an official reprimand.

But the new Tennessee coach ain’t apologizing for anything else and here’s why: Given the realities of the football program he inherited, Kiffin believes he was just doing what he had to do to jump-start the process of making the Volunteers a contender again.

“Do I love everything I had to do to get us to this point? No I don’t but my job is not to love everything that I do,” Kiffin said as he met with the collective SEC media for the first time on Tuesday. “My job is to do the best thing for our university and the best thing for our people.”

Kiffin, 34, has ruffled more than a few feathers since joining the SEC coaching fraternity last December. The episodes have been well documented so we won’t review them here. But here at the annual SEC spring meetings, where he sat down with his fellow coaches for the first time on Tuesday, Kiffin said his aggressive approach to date is simply what the job requires.

“I think as you look at this job (Tennessee) you have to have a national presence,” Kiffin said. “We’re not fortunate enough to be able to sign 23 or 25 players from our state. When you become a head coach, you take a specific plan into a job. This one, as I looked at it, needed to have a spark immediately as far as exposure.”

Kiffin’s point was that he had to do some unconventional things to get Tennessee noticed nationally. Some of his controversial decisions drew scorn in the national media and from fellow coaches. Kiffin had a little dust up with Steve Spurrier, who wondered if Kiffin had taken his NCAA recruiting test before calling prospects. Turns out he had taken the test and Kiffin wondered if he was going to get an apology. The two rode in an elevator on Tuesday and patched it up, but not before Spurrier reminded the young coach that he never accused him of cheating. He simply asked the question.

Kiffin and Meyer? That relationship is going to take some work and, given the jobs they hold, will remain chilly. Meyer said the key to the situation is to be “professional.” But he also admitted that it wasn’t easy.

But here’s the reality: While Kiffin’s style in the past six months has gone against the grain, it also made Tennessee the most talked-about 5-7 team in college football. And six months into the job, Kiffin said, the plan is working. Tennessee closed fast in recruiting, signing a Top 10 class that included running back Bryce Brown, rated by some services as the No. 1 player in the nation.

“If you look at the plan over six months you’d have to say it is going extremely well. There aren’t any six-year plans anymore,” Kiffin said. “None of you guys are going to write ‘Well, they will be good six years from now.’ To sit back and say we’ll take it easy and sit in the weeds and say someday we’ll sign a Top 10 class….we didn’t have time to do that.”

Kiffin said that he hopes the other coaches in the SEC understand that every job is different. What might work at one place may not work at another. His job is not to make friends among the SEC coaches or the media.

“I was hired to satisfy three groups of people. No. 1 is our people, our fans, the people of Tennessee. I think they are extremely excited. We had the second largest attendance we’ve ever had for a spring game.

“No. 2, our own players. I think some of the things that we’ve done puts it back on your own players. They know you’ve gone out and said some things about what you’re going to do and what you’re going to accomplish. When you’re working out with your players at 5:30 in the morning they come up to you and say ‘Thanks for doing that coach. It makes us want to work that much harder because we’ve got your back.

“No. 3 is recruiting because it’s the lifeblood of the program. I don’t think if you took a conservative approach—whether you thought it was right, wrong, or indifferent—I don’t think there is any way you sign that class and there isn’t any way you sign the No. 1 player in the country. There are some things that have to be done specifically for this particular job.

“As you look at kids today they respond to confidence a lot. Guys that we’ve signed talk about the confidence they feel from the staff. We’re not backing down and kids like that. They like the energy around our program.”

Before his first face-to-face meeting with Meyer since the comments in February, Kiffin was asked if he felt the need to apologize again.

“I really haven’t thought about it. I would expect everybody to understand that we all have a job to do,” said Kiffin. “But I did request that coach Meyer and I would get adjoining rooms (at the hotel).”

He was kidding. At least I think he was.

This is going to be an interesting fall.



184 comments Add your comment

Tide rising

May 27th, 2009
6:16 pm

Initially the things Kiffin was saying and the attention he was bringing to UT was good and the old adage that “any pub is better than no pub” did apply. But things have kinda changed a little bit. You can only show your azz so many times before the bad pub starts to wear on your program.

Currently it seems that no pub would be better than any pub because the only image being propagated now is the sheer buffoonery of Lane Kiffin. He is now the Dan Quayle or Joe Biden of college football in that every time he opens his mouth he looks moronic, juvenile, and his immaturity is on display for everyone to see. You can continue saying any pub is better than no pub but in Kiffin’s case this simply doesn’t apply anymore.

He is now a laughingstock in the national media. A clown or court jester if you will. And if anyone thinks a clown, buffoon, court jester, etc. is at least some publicity that is good for a university then ask yourselves if you would want an azzclown representing your school, business, professional organization, etc.

I know UT fans want to put a good spin on things and try to put a positive face on all of Kiffin’s shenanigans but it comes down to this. No one wants that kind of constant ridicule and outright embarrassment that the man has brought to UT.

Gator Nation

May 27th, 2009
6:29 pm

I keep hearing about this great coaching staff that Kiffin has assembled but exactly how does that break down? You have Lane, who has never been a successful head coach and was a disaster in the NFL. That coach from Ole Miss?? Well I’m sure that Houston Nutt would have a few words to say but successful wouldn’t exactly be one of them. That recruiting coach that came from Bama?? I didn’t exactly see Bama’s recruiting take a hit this year and seems they are off to another good start this year. Monte IS a very good coach and proven…but in the pro’s. How long since he coached in college?? And if his Tampa 2 doesn’t translate to the college game, Tennessee could be WORSE off on defense. Let’s not forget that defense was NOT their problem last year. I expect the Vols could be marginally better than last year, if for no other reason than just a different attitude. But unless the O line and QB are much better than what many of their OWN fans believe…it’s gonna be at least a couple more blue years in Big Orange country.


May 27th, 2009
7:08 pm

You bunch of chumps!!! “Kiffin the Great” is in every head in the SEC! He will have the Vols,just as they had USC dominating everyone! Heck even fat Phil dominated Georgia’s underachieving behinds!!! LMFAO at you turd fans on a Georgia site talking about the Vols,just what Kiff wanted!!!!! See you slimey lizards in Sept!


May 27th, 2009
7:48 pm

Hey, the I bred smokey guy, when you talk about dominating like USC, you’re mean like South Carolina, right?


May 27th, 2009
7:51 pm

I don’t understand why we let Kiffin get to us like this, I see Tennessee fans all over the place and every time they talk about Kiffin they start laughing how mad everybody is getting, we look like a bunch of fools.

loser Lane

May 27th, 2009
7:52 pm

Thank God those meetings are over!! I couldn’t take one more day in a dress and panty hose. I was so happy to let Coach O take them off my hands!

The hill

May 27th, 2009
7:53 pm

Even the most optimistic Tennessee fan knows it will take at least two years to get the program back to where it belongs.

Coach O

May 27th, 2009
7:55 pm

Hey Lane, Might be a few days getting back to Knoxvile. Think I’m gonna hang at the hotel for a couple of extra days. Thursday and Fridays are ladies night!


May 27th, 2009
7:57 pm

All the articles I see, the idoits on radio, etc all they are talking about is Kiffin, it’s just making him bigger than life. To young kids coming out of college it makes a big deal to hear this stuff, we are hurting ourselves in the recruiting war!

Lord of The Lizards

May 27th, 2009
7:59 pm

And September it will be!


May 27th, 2009
8:03 pm

Tide rising, the idea that Lane Kiffin is a laughingstock in the national media is just flat out stupid. The PTI guys on ESPN love him and the article we’re all responding to is a pretty good write up. Equally laughable is Pitbull’s statement that Tennessee’s players resent Kiffin’s statements and believe they’re being put in a bad position. You’ve obviously never played football for a coach you’d run through a wall for. And I have to laugh at Gator Nation who is trying to poke holes in the theory that UT has a great coaching staff. Sorry, that dog won’t hunt. You guys kill me. LMGDMFAO!!!!!


May 27th, 2009
8:03 pm

Not to worry! In order for Kiffin to get “bigger than life” someone would have to inject another 4000lbs of hot air in him!


May 27th, 2009
8:15 pm

Oh and PaulC, I can see you have been posting stupid statements all day so you have about as much credibility of Kiffy the Clown…and great coaching staffs actually have a resume with championships and rings and stuff that says #1…not a bunch of meaningless bluster, a 5-15 record in Pro ball or a 10 win record over 3 years at Ole Miss with only loss of scholarships to show for it, or some dinosaur who hasn’t coached college ball in a 100 years. If you think that constitutes a great coaching staff then you need to get off that orange Kool-Aid.


May 27th, 2009
8:20 pm

I don’t give a rat’s rear about Kiffin, I just heard about a new job in the State of Maine. The Maine DNR is looking for people that can howl like wolves. You heard it first from me, people! Gen, Cuz, Atanta Garor, and all you regulars, I am outta here! I don’t know how much competition there is for the job, but then again, how many people are dumb enough to sit in the woods at night and call a pack of wolves down on themselves? Hello Maine, here I am! If you let me take my Combat Commander with me I can show you a dam wolf. Later guys, I will be dining on lobster snd clam choudah in no time!


May 27th, 2009
8:31 pm

Hey shane#1 Nice to know Kiffy has something to fall back on if this coaching thing doesn’t work out!!! ROTFLMAO!!!


May 27th, 2009
8:49 pm

It must be idiot troll day on Now that Me has informed us that you have to have a ring as a head coach to be considered a great coach, I guess that leaves out Mark Richt, Les Miles, Tommy Tuberville, and Nick Saban, none of whom had rings when they started as HC. LOL! Richt had a ring but that was as an OC. But wait!! Kiffin has a ring as well! He was OC at USC! And now he’s describing Monte Kiffin who’s only the best DC in the NFL as a “dinasour” as if age is a disqualifier for coaching success. I’ll take our dinasour over anything you got.

So many idiots, so little time…

Percy Harvin

May 27th, 2009
8:50 pm

I have the munchies.


May 27th, 2009
9:18 pm

all the credit on this blog to Urban Meyer is making me sick!! Things have gone his way and he has Tebow. It’ll be interesting to see how that a$$ acts when he is not on top!!!

Gen Neyland

May 27th, 2009
9:24 pm

shane #1 : Don’t forget to carry your rations of my Tennessee Creekwater Sippin’ Solvent. It’ll really help you with those long nights calling wolves. Guaranteed…

Gen Neyland

May 27th, 2009
9:30 pm

…and to those so sure UT will fall flatter than a pancake, gimme the winnin’ Mega numbers..PLEASE.


May 27th, 2009
10:29 pm

I do believe that Les Miles AND Nick Saban have NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP rings as HEAD COACHES. So once again PaulC, you stand corrected. Mark Richt to his credit does have SEC rings AS A HC. So again, my feeble fan, I have corrected you. It’s the first of a series of corrections that you shall recieve as Boy Blabber and Middle Ages Monte will taste defeat after defeat until they are…extinct!


May 27th, 2009
10:31 pm

By the way, PaulC, are you an “m” somehow related?? Just curious…


May 27th, 2009
11:53 pm

When do we get the alabama loi story, How many sholly lost? Come on Tony how long will you sit on this story ?


May 28th, 2009
12:41 am

All wrongs will be made right. Oscar Meyer has one more year of glory……Then Tebow is gone…..Yes, Lane needs to chill a little….But he has the nation’s attention….Cool. We will be better…..And when we are……..It will be unprecedented…….Can’t wait….


May 28th, 2009
2:38 am

In another post on another day, I compared Lane Kiffen’s strategy to get publicity at all costs, with a scene and character from a old Clark Gable movie called ‘The Hucksters’. In that movie, Sidney Greenstreet, to demonstrate his concept of advertising, spit a huge lugie right in the middle of a conference room table then commented, ‘Disgusting yes, but you’ll never forget it’. The more I read Mr. Kiffen’s rationalizations for what he has been doing since coming to UT, the more it sounds like he’d spit in the middle of a recruit’s dining room table if he thought they’d remember him.

He’s a loud-mouthed bully that has, for some reason (certainly not from his coaching accomplishments) thinks he can swagger and big-talk himself into success in the SEC – wanna bet your mortgage on it?


May 28th, 2009
6:08 am

Ole Dawg the gators have been doing that Hanging 60 on the dawgs for years now and you still like CMR.

[...] Tony Barnhart of the AJC says don’t expect more apologies from Kiffin. [...]


May 28th, 2009
8:47 am

Young Lane’s reminds me of one former SEC head coach….

Gerry Dinardo..

[...] Tony Barnhart of the AJC says don’t expect more apologies from Kiffin. [...]


May 28th, 2009
2:32 pm


Why don’t you go back and look at the past ga florida scores before making stupid comments.

If (admittedly a big if) , UGA wins this year, the last 6 games will be split 3-3. No one has scored 60 points routinely EVER much less since Richt arrives. 2008 was an aberration, not a trend.

You are way too stupid to realize what you are typing, so why bother………………………


May 28th, 2009
6:45 pm

Oh you mighty Gators. Blah blah blah is all that comes out of your mouths. Oh where is my apology? Why is he talking smack when he hasn’t coached a single college game? I love it. Sound like a bunch of cry babies. You just won your second NT in three years. Quit worrying about this young guy who has no chance against The Mighty Gators. LOL Bama lost at home to Louisiana Monroe Saban’s first year and went 6-6. Remember that?

And all I hear is how you will score all these points against us. UT had the # 3 defense in the whole nation last year and now they have Monte Freaking Kiffin. Yeah the QB is a big piece of crap, but our D is still pretty good. So you dumb gators enjoy that trophy and have those helmets strapped on tight, because the Fulmer era of playing like a bunch of girls is over. See ya Sept. 19!!!!

blaster vol

May 28th, 2009
11:33 pm

Florida,Georgia,alabama might be in for a suprise. We VOLS can play a little football from time to time. Looking at these comments This Vol team might have a little bulliten board material themselves. We are not completely without football players. I have faith in this staff and players. But we’ll see who laughs last


May 29th, 2009
3:15 pm

1. The Gators couldn’t “light us up” for more than 30 points this year when we sucked. Our defense is just that good, and under Monte will be as good or better(lot more turnovers with the Tampa defense, stripping and all).
2. Kiffin did a good job, no doubt, he took a 5-7 team, and got a top 10 recruiting class and put UT back in the national spotlight. Don’t deny him, he’s got great PR.
3. Tahj Boyd is a good QB, but he isn’t pro-style, Crompton IS. Crompton may not be the best, but he fits Kiffin’s offense.
Bill – LOL… almost made Kiffin cry? Spurrier couldn’t make a baby cry, Kiffin just didn’t say anything and it was more like… “WTF are you talking about?” type pause.

S.E.C fan

July 12th, 2009
6:46 pm

Right on TEX- DOG.The best and most sucessful coach’s in the history of college ball were quiet, unassumeing and professional. But we’ll have to wait and see how old loud mouth does.