There’s nothing quite like college football. If you need more evidence to support that statement, listen to what Lane Kiffin had to say this week.
Kiffin appeared on Marty Smith’s podcast this week and revealed that he was urged to wear a bulletproof vest upon returning to Neyland Stadium. The former Tennessee head coach refused, shrugging off any potential threat.
“It’s crazy, they were literally talking about a bulletproof vest on the bus ride in,” Kiffin said. “I’m like, come on guys. This is football. They’re like, no really. They had security with me the whole way walking on the field and stuff like that.”
Kiffin said that he refused, calling the vest “over the top.”
“There were a lot of four letter words said, but that speaks of Tennessee fans and how passionate they are,” Kiffin said.
Kiffin famously left Tennessee after just one season to return to USC Trojans as the head coach. After flaming out there, he became the offensive coordinator at Alabama Crimson Tide. Every Tennessee fan’s reaction was the same — they each pointed to October 25th, the day when Kiffin would be forced to return to Neyland Stadium.
The return wasn’t all that eventful, but it was pretty hostile. Kiffin’s offense scored on their first play from scrimmage, which was a simple play-action dump pass to Amari Cooper that ended up going the distance. That just turned the knife a little more for Tennessee fans on that night.
Kiffin has since left the Tide, of course. Now a large segment of the Tennessee fanbase has grown to love Lane once more. Some even clamored for Tennessee to hire him back during the chaotic coaching search. Kiffin seems like he’s having a blast at FAU, however. The school just inked him to a 10 year deal this week, in fact.
It has been enjoyable to see Lane evolve and turn into what he is today. He’s always good for a quote and his laid-back approach does seem to be working in Boca Raton. I’ll be fascinated to see if he ever gets his shot at another big time job.