Lane Kiffin recalls his incredible post-game comments to Nick Saban back in 2009
Lane Kiffin spent one extraordinary year as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers. With the 10-year anniversary of that season this fall, ESPN released a long-form feature documenting so many of the memorable moments and drama from the season.
One of the most astonishing is what Kiffin recalls he said to Nick Saban after Alabama beat Tennessee in 2009. According to ESPN Kiffin told him, “Hey, good game, but that’s the last time it’s going to happen.”
Kiffin had a hilarious response when reminded of that moment a decade later.
“It was the last time it happened,” Kiffin said. “It’s the last time he beat me, so I guess that part is true.
“Like a dumbass, I also didn’t know I was going to need a job from him in five years, either.”
Kiffin went 7-6 in his only season with the Volunteers. Tennessee played No. 1 Florida and No. 1 Alabama that season, losing both games by a combined 12 points. The Volunteers held Tim Tebow without a touchdown pass for the first time in 30 games when they faced the Gators.
Tennessee also demolished Georgia and upset No. 21 South Carolina, 31-13. The Volunteers won four of their final five regular season games.
But all that promise came to a screeching halt when Kiffin left for USC immediately after the season. He spent four years coaching the Trojans, compiling a 28-15 record. After USC fired him midway through the 2013 season, Saban eventually hired Kiffin as his offensive coordinator.
The ESPN story features a ton of more memorable moments and quotes as well, some new and some oldies but goodies, including one from Lane’s father, Monte, who served as Tennessee’s defensive coordinator in 2009, saying “we never should have left” Tennessee.