Lane Kiffin reflects on leaving Tennessee, what he expects from Volunteers fans Saturday night
Lane Kiffin will take No. 13 Ole Miss to Knoxville on Saturday night to face Tennessee, where he spent the 2009 season as head coach.
Kiffin led the Volunteers to a 7-6 record but departed after the season to take the head coaching job at Southern California.
Things, however, didn’t go as planned for Kiffin at USC.
Despite inheriting some unexpected NCAA restrictions, he was fired after the 5th game of his 4th season with an overall record of 28-15.
During the weekly SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday, Kiffin was asked if there was a time during his USC tenure when he realized that leaving Tennessee was a mistake.
“I don’t think of it that way,” Kiffin said. “We didn’t know what happened was going to happen. We went there being told by the powers there that there was nothing to the Reggie Bush situation. … All of a sudden we go there and start recruiting and get a 2-year bowl ban.”
At the time, Volunteers fans were not happy about Kiffin leaving the Tennessee job after one season.
So what kind of reception does Kiffin expect to get in Neyland Stadium on Saturday night?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I feel like it’s gotten better over the years. Just in general, messing around on Twitter and stuff like that. A few years back when there was an opening, someone sent an article about all the email requests to (Phil) Fulmer about bringing us back there.”
The Rebels and the Volunteers are set for a 7:30 p.m. EST kickoff on Saturday, and the game will be televised by the SEC Network.