Lane Kiffin reflects on chaotic last day in Knoxville, explains how press conference backfired
Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin, who, of course, also once was the head coach at Tennessee, recently recalled his final day in Knoxville back in January of 2010.
As the infamous story goes, Kiffin bolted in the middle of the night and boarded a plane to Los Angeles to take over as the head coach at USC. The rest, as they say, is history.
Here’s what Kiffin had to say when asked by Nashville’s 104.5 FM The Zone about that last day in Knoxville:
“What was really crazy is how it was blown up to be a negative thing about the press conference,” Kiffin said. “When coaches leave places — and I was advised not to by representatives that advised me, said, ‘You’re not going to have a press conference. You just leave. That’s what they do. You leave and have a new press conference at your new place.’
“I was trying to go the other way with it. I really feel like the media has been great to us here. The people have been great. I really feel like I should give them an explanation,” Kiffin added. “You know, instead of getting on a plane and leaving. So, that’s why I was having a press conference to just explain to them. I was asking them not to have cameras. I had just got to know them. I just want to explain to you guys why I made this decision, so you guys understand.
“And it just backfired because one person said, ‘No, we’re not putting the cameras away.’ And it just became whatever at that point.”
That was certainly a wild time in Knoxville, as former Tennessee star safety Eric Berry recalled in an interview last year.