Forgive and forget? Some UT fans say they want Lane Kiffin to fill the head coach vacancy

Kiffin left Tennessee in 2010 after one season.
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 6:40 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Some say in 2010 Lane Kiffin took the midnight train when he left the UT football program after just one year for the University of Southern California.

”Had that night gone better, if he had been able to leave the way he wanted to, I think his name would not have the same taste in the minds and mouths of Tennessee fans he may have now, had he had the chance to do it his way that night,” said Mark Packer, former WVLT News anchor and current sports contributor, who was in the room when Kiffin announced he was leaving.

Social media is abuzz with hope and optimism that a decade is enough time, and now is the perfect opportunity for Kiffin to take the reigns of the Volunteer program.

”I think Lane Kiffin would be a great choice,” said UT fan Michael Clay. ”Well, he loves Knoxville, he’s a proven head coach in the SEC, he’s an offensive genius, and I think he brings a lot of energy, and I think he would get things done here quickly, I also think he would stabilize the team here and get us on a good recruiting path for the upcoming season.”

Kiffin has had several stops since his time on Rocky Top. Starting at the University of Southern California, then offensive coordinator at Alabama and head coaching stops at Florida Atlantic and Ole Miss, where he is now.

Kiffin, while a popular choice for some, he is not the choice for others.

“I certainly hope not,” said Steve Cothran. “I think in his early press conferences he seemed kind of like, forgive me for the phrase, but like a jerk and you know and not a really friendly kind of person, and it turned me off from the very beginning, and then he was only here for a year and left.”

For Packer, he isn’t sold on the idea of Kiffin’s return.

With an investigation looking over UT football, and whatever the results bring with them, Packer doesn’t think Kiffin is the guy the Vols need.

”There are things we’re going to have to deal with in Knoxville that have to have someone who is willing to do that. I am not of the opinion that Lane Kiffin is the guy, but I’m just one guy over here sitting by himself,” said Packer.

But fans know, no matter who UT hires, the process is one they’ve become all too familiar with.

”I think it’s going to be fun, it always is, we’re so used to it now,” said Jay Cobble.

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