Part 2: One-on-one with Layla Kiffin

By: Amber Miller Email
By: Amber Miller Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- She was a special events coordinator for an NFL team.

He was a smooth-talking coach.

About 10 years later, they're married, have three children, and now rule the UT football world.

But it hasn't always been easy for the Kiffin family.

Layla Kiffin says the past five months of transitioning to a new life has been difficult.

The trip from Oakland, California to Knoxville, Tennessee is more than 2400 miles.

"We weren't big Northern Cal fans. So I wasn't too sad to leave. And I'm really excited, you know. This place is beautiful. I haven't met one person who hasn't been wonderful," the coach's wife said.

It's not so much the distance that's been hard, or the change of scenery.

Layla says her husband-- new UT Head Football Coach Lane Kiffin-- has been on a roller coaster over the last several months.

"We've had to deal with that a lot, with the Raiders, obviously," Layla said. "And you know, I just don't get caught up in it. I never read the papers. I never got the paper. I don't get online. I don't read the blogs. I just support him and know that we are in the right place at the right time."

Lane Kiffin went from making headlines as a rookie coach in the NFL to being fired. But then came along Mike Hamilton and the University of Tennessee.

Now the Kiffin family thinks they've found their place.

"Kids are all decked out in orange already. My 4-year-old wants to paint her bedroom orange, with a big T, she says," Layla laughed.

With a coaching staff full of star power and a top ten recruiting class, there are some big expectations for Coach Lane Kiffin.

Perhaps the question is, if he lives up to those expectations, how long will he stay? The Mrs. seems to think for a while.

"We're planning on staying. For life. He said 'I want to go coach at a big time program and raise my kids.' "

The Kiffins are still house hunting.

He wants something on the water. She wants something private. They say they're getting close.

And even though they don't have a permanent address yet, Layla says they feel at home.


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