Vols A.D. 'disappointed' by Kiffin
Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 1:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 1:42 p.m.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — 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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