Reaction: AD 'Disappointed' by Kiffin's Quick Departure

BY foxsports • January 13, 2010

By BETH RUCKER
AP Sports Writer

January 13, 2010

KNOXVILLE,
Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton describes Lane
Kiffin's tenure coaching the Volunteers in just one word: 'Brief.'

Hamilton
spoke at a news conference Wednesday discussing his second coaching
search in less than two years after Kiffin announced Tuesday night his
abrupt resignation to take the same job at Southern California.

Kiffin, hired 14 months ago, coached one season at Tennessee.

Asked
if he felt betrayed, Hamilton said he gave Kiffin a chance to be a head
coach but that he was "more disappointed for the kids and fans."

Kiffin arrived at Tennessee after being fired as head coach of the NFL's Oakland Raiders by owner Al Davis.

The athletic director said Kiffin told him Saturday that if the Southern California job came open he would be interested.

Hamilton
said the search to replace Kiffin started Tuesday and is "full blast"
under way. Tennessee has a recruit weekend scheduled for this weekend,
and interim coach Kippy Brown said they will hold the event with
prospects reporting Friday.

Brown called himself a candidate for
the job, and he said he expects a coach to be hired by Friday. The
athletic director would only commit to having a coach hired by Sunday.

"Hopefully it's going to get done before recruiting's live again," Hamilton said.

Hamilton
already has met with the eight recruits who enrolled early and told
them to "go to class." He said that though he didn't have an attendance
sheet with him, since the recruits were on campus at 12:01 a.m. that
means they are enrolled at Tennessee.

The athletic director was
quizzed about how much Kiffin strayed from Tennessee traditions and
about the departing coaches contacting Vol recruits, trying to lure
them to Southern California.

"Nothing surprises me anymore," Hamilton said about the calls to recruits.

Kiffin
hired Brown in December of 2008, and he said he had heard through the
coaching grapevine that Kiffin might not be around long. But this is
Brown's third stint coaching at Tennessee.

"There's been a lot
of gloom and doom around here, and I don't buy into that. ... This is
still Tennessee. It was Tennessee before I got here. It's Tennessee
now, and it will be Tennessee long after I'm gone," Brown said.

"And that's special."


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