Lane Kiffin resigns to take USC job

By: WVLT Staff
By: WVLT Staff
Former UT Head Football Coach Lane Kiffin resigned Tuesday to take the head football coaching job at USC.

Former Vols Head Football Coach Lane Kiffin tells reporters he's leaving UT to for the head coaching job at USC.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- Former UT Head Football Coach Lane Kiffin resigned Tuesday to take the head football coaching job at USC.

According to his contract, Kiffin will have to pay the University of Tennessee $800,000 to get out of his agreement.

Kiffin coached the Vols to a 7-6 season during his first and only season with the team.

Kiffin refused to allow media outlets, including Volunteer TV, to broadcast a statement from him live to our viewers. After several complaints from reporters, Kiffin gave a brief statement that was recorded, but not broadcast live. He ignored questions from the media following his statement.

"This was not an easy decision, it's just something that happened very quick, and a decision that myself and my family made," Kiffin told a room full of reporters. "We've been here 14 months. The support has been unbelievable here."

As for the decision to leave UT, Kiffin said, "I really believe this is the only place that I would have left here to go-- was to go to Southern Cal."

UT students displayed banners, burned the "It's Time" T-shirts created at the onset of Kiffin's short tenure at UT. A tenure UT Athletics Director Mike Hamilton described simply as "brief."

"I feel like we gave him a chance at a great university with a great tradition," Hamilton said Wednesday during a news conference. "I will say this, he made the comment last night that he came to Tennessee and worked hard everyday, he did do that, I think he did some things in his brief tenure here, but if I said I was anything less than disappointed, not so much personal, I'm more disappointed for our kids and our fans."

The Big Orange went to the Chick-fil-A Bowl under Kiffin, but they lost to Virginia Tech.

Kiffin was hired after longtime coach Phillip Fulmer was fired following a 5-7 season.

"I'm very thankful to all the Tennessee people and the way they welcomed myself and my family," Kiffin said. "It's been an exciting time. and I know that I can walk out of here and say this: That we've been here for 14 months, and there's not been one day that I didn't give everything that I had to the Tennessee football program.

In a statement posted on the Tennessee Athletics website, UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton said: "I want to thank Coach Kiffin for his work with our program this past year. We have already begun a search for the new head football coach of the Tennessee Volunteers and we'll complete this process as quickly as possible to put the right person in place to lead our great football program forward in the months and years ahead."

The UT Athletics department quickly removed the photos and biographies of Kiffin, his father and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, and assistant head coach Ed Orgeron from the department's Web site, Blank, white space now occupies the slots where the team's top three coaches' pictures once were.

Orgeron and Monte Kiffin are both leaving, as well.

"We're leaving here, 14 months later, a lot better team than we were 14 months ago," Kiffin said.

Hamilton and interim head coach Kippy Brown both said a newly hired head coach would likely be announced by week's end.

For Brown's part, he says he's interested in the job.

"I think I'm a legitimate candidate for the job," he said during Wednesday's news conference with Hamilton. "The reason I say that is that I'm very confident in my ability to coach, to recruit. I've proven that when I was here before. I've coached at Tennessee on SEC championship teams."


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  • by shane Location: knoxville on Jan 15, 2010 at 01:57 AM
    I bleed orange, and always have, what ever our athletic boards have in store for us it better be damn good. This is a big spit in the face. He has no idea what tradition, and pride are. Someone like kiffin doesn't belong in an outstanding athletic program like we have here. I will always be faithful to fulmer, or any other die hard UT coach. If i have one message to the players, even if we don't beat florida or bama, we can at least use every bit of our energey and give it everything we have to kick the living hell out of USC next time we play them. Show kiffin what he gave up! GO VOLS!! Vol born Vol bred when i die I'll be Vol Dead
  • by Stew-Train Location: Friendsville on Jan 14, 2010 at 05:27 PM
    David Cutcliff was the offensive cor. under two different head coaches at ut produced 0 national championships, head coach at ole miss. produced 0 national championships, head coach at Duke produced 0 national championships. Mike Hamilton's job is on the line so maybe he should think before settling for a future of possibly 0 championships with mr. Cutcliff. UT football future and chance at a national championship along with the decision of a head coach seems to be at the bottom of the barrell and possibly the beer barrell this year when Kentucky come to town lol.
  • by Anon Location: Knoxville on Jan 13, 2010 at 11:25 PM
    Everyone is so upset now about this but we need to let it go, it is out of our hands. Lame Kiffen's day will come, just like the good ol' book(bible)says you do a good thing and you shall be reward but you do bad thing you will not be reward. Look on the positive side, we will get a better coach and our team will be #1 this year! Be Positive! Look at our basketball coaches, they set up perfect examples for the team and charity and they get good rewards out of it! Be positive! Do good things out of your heart and not be greedy!
  • by Zack Location: Loudon County on Jan 13, 2010 at 11:19 PM
    I just hope something doesn't happen to him.
  • by j Location: knoxville on Jan 13, 2010 at 10:40 PM
    Lane Kiffin is about as loyal as Tiger Woods.
  • by span Location: knoxville on Jan 13, 2010 at 10:22 PM
    cont. -emotions sometimes runs amok. With all the events that have taken place surrounding the sports news recently, it was perhaps, too much to digest at once, I hope that in the future a coach, player, etc.., feels free to make a move for their benefit, or that of their family, without fear of reprisal of the fans or the staff, after all, Tennessee is about turning players and coachs into professionals and we will try to continue that goal. Good luck Coach Kiffin and family we wish you well.
  • by span Location: knoxville on Jan 13, 2010 at 10:19 PM
    Coach Kiffin married well, and I really appreciate his wife's volunteer work with the KARM in feeding the homeless, I wish their family continual success and hope that the coach finds what he is searching for, it's not all about football, Tennessee is a land of grace and gratitude and true Southern Hospitality and hopefully Coach Kiffin and his family will feel or take the opportunity to visit Knoxville in the future and feel the acceptance that we will exhibit unto him and his family. Our football team is not based upon a coach only, but upon a people who care and appreciate their football and sports deeply, but sometimes loyality gets in the way of who we really are, a peaceful, kind, and hospitable people, who have no ill will toward any, but are caught off guard in a surprise situation especially concerning all the recent news and problems in the sports area, this added a punch and placed people off guard, of which I offer my apology for adding fear and stress to his family -
  • by Concerned citizen Location: Clinton, TN on Jan 13, 2010 at 09:08 PM
    I never thought he would stay. He was too cocky. He always acted like he was to good for Tennessee...I didn't know he was from California, but now it makes sense....He always acted like he liked the spotlight.. At least Coach Fulmer and his family acted like they were for the team and not for themselves....So what if they lost a few games... Coach Kiffen lost "a few games" himself" and this was just his first year...I'm surprised they made it to a bowl game.
  • by kelly Location: whiteburg on Jan 13, 2010 at 08:51 PM
    i believe tennessee got what they deserve .... Al Davis warned them not to sign lane kiffin and they went ahead and signed him anyway...
  • by David Location: Knox/Nash Ville on Jan 13, 2010 at 08:00 PM
    People want to talk about how sorry Lane Kiffen is,and how they want Phillip Fulmer back. I feel like all our fans are 18 year olds who know nothing about UT football.Fulmer doesn't deserve a thing.All of you are so quick to jump on one guy,yet forget what we as a University did to Johnny Majors.I seem to rememeber Majors being in the hospital with a HEART ATTACK,and the snake in the grass fulmer,the OC at the time,taking his job from him,and never looking back.I love UT,and you all talk about karma...well karma just bit us all in the bum.When all is said and done,Kiffen will get his too,but to try and act like Fulmer's some kind of saint,and that we owe him an apology for his mediocrity the past decade,you need to open your eyes and realize that UT should never have done Majors wrong,and that we don't need Phillip or Lane.And as for all these no-name coaches we're looking at,like Texas' DC,what happens when Mack Brown retires from Texas? We'll get Lane part 2.Wake up people!


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