Former Bucs coach Monte Kiffin going all out in new role with Tennessee
When former Tampa Bay Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin decided to leave the job to join his son Lane on the staff at Tennessee, many wondered how a man in his late 60's, who is new to the college game, might fare.
According to Tennessee safety Eric Berry, the Vols' players have been stunned by the amount of energy Monte Kiffin has shown since his arrival in Knoxville.
Lane Kiffin, UT's first-year head coach, said he hasn't been able to slow his father down.
"He is 69,'' Lane Kiffin said Friday. "But he says it all the time, 69 going on 49. (He says) that he was actually born on a leap year, so he really only has a birthday every four years. He has all these excuses why he's so young. It's true. He's so passionate about the sport, about coaching.''
Even on a scheduled vacation to Tampa, Monte Kiffin didn't quit working.
"I kicked him out of the office last week,'' Lane Kiffin said. "We've been on vacation for three weeks. I see him in the office every single day. I finally kick him out, sent him to Tampa. My mom is calling me, telling me, will you please send him on vacation? I haven't seen him.
"So I send him to Tampa. I think he's on vacation. Then I find out the Tampa Bay Bucs set up an office for him, this is a true story. He's going in every single day in the morning, not coming home (until) night. My mom calls, says, 'He ain't been here one time. He's not here for breakfast, he's not here til' after dinner.' He goes into the Bucs. They set up this office, and they streamline all the film from SEC film for all the opponents. They streamline them all into the Tampa facility. He was still working down there every day.
"My point of the story is that shows the passion of the guy,'' Lane Kiffin concluded. "Doesn't matter about age. There's some 25-year-olds that can't coach because they're too lazy, don't have enough energy. Then there's 69-year-olds that can coach because they have great energy.''
Berry said the only drawback for Monte Kiffin is the grueling task of recruiting.
"I know he got tired of recruiting,'' Berry said. "Coming from Tampa Bay, the NFL, he really didn't know the recruiting side of college football. He was talking to me about how he was tired of flying. He didn't want to fly. He's like, 'I just want to get on the grass and coach, E. That's all I want to do. I want to get on the field and coach you guys. I don't want to do any more recruiting.' He was kind of spilling his heart to me. We both really laughed about it. It was really funny."