Saturday is Phillip Fulmer Appreciation Day at Neyland Stadium. But the big news coming out of Knoxville surrounds his successor. The University of Tennessee has reached an agreement with the former Oakland Raiders coach.more>>
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Even though Tennessee's new coach is the youngest one leading a major program, Lane Kiffin has been around football for almost all of his 33 years.
The former coach of the NFL's Oakland Raiders and son of longtime NFL defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, is five months younger than the previous youngest coach in the Bowl Subdivision, Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald.
"During our process, Lane Kiffin stood out," athletic director Mike Hamilton said. "He has great football bloodlines and has been part of a strong football tradition since birth."
Kiffin remembers being surrounded as a child by chalkboards scrawled with defensive plays and spending weekends in pregame meetings with his dad's teams.
"The experience has been unbelievable and then to combine that with still being young enough to be able to relate to recruits and be able to manage them and handle them, I think is very valuable," Kiffin said Monday when he was introduced at Tennessee.
He took over the Volunteers two days after Phillip Fulmer's 17-season tenure ended with a win over Kentucky.
Kiffin has a six-year contract worth $2 million in 2009 with the chance for bonuses.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)