June 15, 2011
Many would describe Lane Kiffin as a villain.
At least many in Tennessee.
Kiffin coached the Vols for a year and left the school with some NCAA violations while he gallivanted off to USC. Fans were so upset with Kiffin that they started burning mattresses and Tennessee paraphernalia with Kiffin's face and name on it in the street. Tennessee fans even threatened Kiffin's children.
But Kiffin's not that bad, he's just misunderstood -- ask his dad.
Monte Kiffin, USC's defensive coordinator and the former DC under his son at Tennessee, told the Los Angeles Times that his son gets a bad rap and that most people would come to like him if they only got to know him.
Of course, even Monte Kiffin admits that he's standing up for his son, but he also says that if he didn't like working for his son, he would have gone back to the NFL after the Tennessee debacle.
Speaking of Tennessee, Monte Kiffin also wanted to clear the air on the way his son left his first collegiate head coaching job. Monte Kiffin claims he thought the Kiffin regime would be in Knoxville for awhile, but understood the draw of a place like USC.
"...I kid him. I bought a house over at Tennessee; I thought I'm probably going to be here awhile. And then he gets the call to coach Southern Cal. He goes, "Dad, what do you think about Southern Cal?" I kind of went, "Whoa, what is this, a one-and-done? I wish you had told me; I'd have rented." Contrary to what people may think at Tennessee, he was never going to leave. You don't go to Tennessee and (then) go somewhere else. This was a special deal. It was just a unique situation."
While this probably doesn't make Tennessee fans feel any better about Kiffin, this post is all about family sticking up for each other. And what's more important than that?