Lane Kiffin shares interesting response after finding out so many Tennessee fans wanted John Currie to hire him back
When Lane Kiffin left Tennessee in the middle of the night back in early 2010, it seemed only a miracle would one day result in Volunteer fans clamoring for the most hated man in Knoxville to be given another chance on Rocky Top.
As unbelievable as that may have been back then, that’s exactly what happened last December. Once former UT AD John Currie’s phone logs were publicly released, the outcry from Tennessee supporters largely supported Kiffin as Butch Jones’ replacement. Who knows what would have happened had Currie followed that advice but he went in a different direction and was eventually replaced a few weeks later.
During a recent interview with Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com, Kiffin was asked to comment on all the Tennessee fans asking for Currie to bring him back to Knoxville.
“I don’t think those numbers would have been that way a year ago. I’m not naive. That just shows how fast nowadays people’s opinions change. Just think how fast that changed just based off one season,” Kiffin replied.
He makes a good point. In Kiffin’s first year at FAU, he led the Owls to an 11-win season after being relieved of his duties at Alabama leading up to the national title game. That short turnaround in a year was incredible but nothing when you consider the love some Tennessee fans had for their former coach last December.
A matured Kiffin also expressed his thoughts on one day potentially leaving FAU, should the right opportunity arise. Based on his answer, he could be at FAU for awhile, as he doesn’t appear eager to leave unless the right opportunity comes available.
“I’m not driven by money anymore,” Kiffin said toAdelson. “I’m not driven by ego, of the attention being a head coach at one of those places. I’m very happy here on all fronts. The only drive is when you do see Kirby [Smart], you see Coach [Nick] Saban walk out on that field before the game, the national championship, holding that trophy. It’s the drive of, OK, I get to play against the best, let’s see if I can beat the best. It’s different. That would not be what I would have answered even five years ago. Because your ego — once you get rid of that, you have different motivations.”
It’s nice to see Kiffin has grown up in some regard. Had his head coaching career started a little differently and he wasn’t so eager to jump from job to job, he may have had a much longer stay in Knoxville the first time around.