Lane Kiffin: Father wouldn't have joined him at any job

Updated: December 20, 2008, 4:40 PM ET
Associated Press

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin said it wasn't a given that his father would join his staff.

Monte Kiffin announced last week that he would work with his son as Tennessee's defensive coordinator after more than a decade in the same position with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I don't think this could have happened anywhere else because he never said, 'I'm going with you wherever you go," Lane Kiffin said Saturday in his second public appearance as the Volunteers' coach. "It had to be a special place. He doesn't want to come here to be mediocre. He wants to come here to win national championships."

Kiffin said he still had to sell his father on the job even though the elder Kiffin wanted to coach with his son. Monte Kiffin is expected to join the staff a few days after Tampa Bay's season ends.

Lane Kiffin said he wasn't worried that his father is required to report to someone besides himself to avoid violating Tennessee's nepotism policy because it "has nothing to do with our staff meetings or our dealings or our individual meetings on a weekly basis."

Kiffin said he hasn't had a chance to speak with Phillip Fulmer but has been compiling a list of questions he wants to ask the man who ran the program for the past 17 seasons.

"I've got so many questions to ask him about how he did this from the beginning and how he was able to make this great run that he made," he said. "I'm ready to wear him out."

Kiffin also couldn't resist making one little joke about Steve Spurrier. It comes with the territory as coach of the Volunteers.

The South Carolina coach, who had a history of taking jabs at Fulmer, questioned earlier this month whether Kiffin contacted recruits before he had passed the NCAA test that allows him to do so.

Kiffin was asked Saturday if he was worried about "ruffling a few feathers" in the Southeastern Conference coaching community.

He had this to say: "I'm not concerned about that. If Steve's concerned about my test, I got a 39 out of 40. I'd like to see what he got."

Kiffin said earlier this month that he took the NCAA recruiting test several days before he was introduced as coach and began contacting recruits on the first morning he was allowed to.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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