One More Reason For Vols Fans To Hate Lane Kiffin, As If They Really Need More

↵After striking out on plans A, B, C, and reportedly contemplating a ↵Back to the Future plan wherein Phil Fulmer makes a dramatic return, it ↵appears Tennessee is hiring ↵a WAC coach who went 4-8 this year. Your lottery winner is Derek ↵Dooley, who's the head coach of a school so obscure that he's his own ↵athletic director. (How did I do this year, boss? Well, I ↵do declare that was the most scintillating four win season I have ever ↵seen!) In three years as a head coach, Dooley's main accomplishment ↵is finishing second in the WAC in 2008. ↵

↵

↵Never let it be said that Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton ↵isn't a man of principle. If he wants a radically underqualified coach ↵whose main asset is his daddy's reputation, by God, Tennessee ↵will have a radically underqualified coach whose main asset is his ↵daddy's reputation. Derek's father happens to be Vince Dooley, ↵

↵

↵The hire is a missed opportunity for many reasons. If it was Phil ↵Fulmer, we would have seen a new world record for most deservedly smug ↵press conference. If it was Troy Calhoun, we would have gotten to make ↵Troy McClure jokes as long as he was employed there ("You may ↵remember me from such playcalls as That Triple Option For Two ↵Yards and That Other Triple Option For Two Yards"). ↵And if Tennessee had hired David Cutcliffe we finally would have gotten ↵a hire that made any damn sense at all. Cutcliffe is ↵

↵
    ↵⇥
  • the most successful coach at Ole Miss in recent history,
  • ↵⇥
  • one of the architects of Tennessee's long run of success under Phil ↵⇥Fulmer,
  • ↵⇥
  • a guy who turned Duke from a sad-sack team that had won one ACC game ↵⇥in three years to a considerably less sad-sack team on the verge of bowl ↵⇥eligibility, and
  • ↵⇥
  • not prone to embarrassing himself and his employers at every ↵⇥opportunity.
  • ↵
↵

↵He's a little old, but he's not a 4-8 WAC coach. Cutcliffe to UT was ↵the most obvious move since Brian Kelly to Notre Dame. How did Tennessee ↵whiff here?  ↵

↵

↵Um, not to establish myself as a person of interest to the FBI, but ↵it's probably on Lane Kiffin. ↵

↵

↵Kiffin and Hamilton, to be specific, are the guys who decided they'd ↵surround the tadpole head coach with an array of very, very well paid ↵assistants. Assistants with multi-year ↵guaranteed contracts. Every single Tennessee assistant has guaranteed ↵money coming in 2010; even without Orgeron and Monte Kiffin, the ↵money due Tennessee assistants in 2010 comes to around 1.6 million ↵dollars. ↵

↵

↵Tennessee was loathe to part with that after getting burned by Kiffin ↵& Co, and every report about Cutcliffe's pending ascension to the ↵throne mentioned one ↵little sticking point: ↵

↵
↵⇥

↵⇥Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton declined to confirm an agreement with ↵⇥Cutcliffe, and one issue remaining to be settled between the two parties ↵⇥is Cutcliffe's staff, according to the newspaper. Cutcliffe wants to ↵⇥bring much of his staff from Duke with him to Tennessee, but there are ↵⇥six Vols assistants still left after Lane Kiffin's departure to USC. ↵⇥

↵
↵

↵Oops. Cutcliffe didnt want to ditch his staff because he's an ↵upstanding kind of guy: ↵

↵
↵⇥

↵⇥SN: Can you address reports that there was an issue ↵⇥over your staff? You wanted to bring your assistants from Duke, and ↵⇥Tennessee wanted you to retain some people? ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥DC: All I can tell you is, I believe that loyalty is ↵⇥important from a personal standpoint, much less a business standpoint. ↵⇥We were going to take our own staff. We're a little different than most ↵⇥folks. The coaches and their families, their children and their wives, ↵⇥their parents and their wives parents, it's pretty amazing the ↵⇥relationships we've developed. We're not a normal group. I believe we ↵⇥have the best staff in America. That's not just a recruiting thing. I ↵⇥believe it deep in my heart. We have a mix of talent, and a lack of egos ↵⇥so that nothing gets in the way of the program. So we wanted to bring ↵⇥all our coaches and all our administrative people if we were going to ↵⇥go. ↵⇥

↵
↵

↵He was gone except for his loyalty to his coaches. Drawing a contrast ↵between Kiffin and Cutcliffe is left as an extremely easy exercise for ↵the reader, or, more likely, the reader's dog. And Tennessee has to go ↵fish in the pool of kids with famous last names again. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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