Amid reports that he’ll join his son at the University of Tennessee after his current team’s 2008 season ends, long-time Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin declined to talk about the prospects of working for Lane Kiffin in Knoxville.
“No, no,” Kiffin said, according to the Orlando Sentinel.  “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Bucs coach Jon Gruden didn’t want to talk about it, either.
“There’s going to be a lot of speculation,” Gruden said.  “That is a big job that Lane got.  This was addressed to me a couple weeks ago.  It’s an outstanding opportunity for Lane and I’m happy for him.  He’s a good coach and a great guy.
“Monte can answer those questions.  I know this, we don’t want to lose him.  He’s my friend, and obviously, I want for Monte to handle those questions.  He knows the internal work as to what’s going on.  I have said all along I’m a big Tennessee fan, my wife was a cheerleader there and I’m happy for Lane Kiffin.  I wish him the best.”
The Bucs have a reputation for squatting on assistant coaches who have years remaining on their contracts.  It’s unknown whether Monte Kiffin’s contract prevents him from leaving for a college job.  It’s also unknown whether the Bucs would hold him to the deal, if he truly wants to leave.
“I don’t know if they could prevent it,” a league source told us on Sunday night.  “Also, he is 68.  How do you say no to a dad coaching with his son?  He earned the right.”
We agree.  Hopefully, the Bucs do, too.


  1. With the sway that Monte had in TB, I’m sure his contract gives him an out. Especially considering his son had just signed with the Raiders, which once Lane’s pen hit the paper, a clock started ticking. The obvious conclusion would be him making his way back to the college ranks. And him trying to bring his dad everywhere he goes.
    Monte has enough time in the league, and has been successful enough to warrant wording beneficial to him in his contract. Plus, I don’t think most NFL contracts prevent one from taking a coordinator job in college. That is a pretty rare occasion for a coordinator who is not god awful.

  2. “We agree. Hopefully, the Bucs do, too.”
    Strong words considering that Monte hasn’t even stated he wants to leave the team for the Vols job. If Monte decides to leave and the Bucs start a fight with him about leaving…THEN your comment is well put. But you’re getting the cart before the horse…as usual.

  3. I can’t see Tampa standing in Monte’s way if he decides on coaching with his son. The man is a living legend in Tampa, and hopefully is around for his Hall of Fame induction in the future as he was one of the principal architects of one of the best defenses ever.
    The team has great assistants that can step up to take over, namely Raheem Morris, who came back to the Bucs after coaching in college for a couple years and has seen the team defense bounce back to elite status.
    The selfish fan in me wants Monte to stay on for a few more years, but it would be an amazing sendoff to host and win another Super Bowl before he departs to coach with his son (if he decides to depart, that is).

  4. But I thought Gruden was going to be HC of Tennessee?
    What about all that land he owns there?
    Why didn’t he deny the reports with the exact words you said he should Florio?
    Until I hear Gruden, Allen, a Glazier or Kiffin himself state that Monte is leaving Tampa Bay to join Lane this story has no legs IMO.

  5. “We agree. Hopefully, the Bucs do, too.”
    Florio is just hoping to be right one of these days with regards to his repeated claims that the Bucs are losing a coach.
    Good luck Mike and remember, a broken clock is right twice a day. Report that the Bucs are losing a coach enough times and eventually you’ll be right.

  6. I simply don’t see why Monte would want to leave the Bucs for a college job, even with his son. It just doesn’t make sense. What’s really in it for him?
    Of course if he wants to do it, good for him. I just hope that an announcement comes sooner than later. We don’t need the distraction, now that the Bucs are poised for a playoff run. I’d just rather see Monte come out right now and say, “Yes, this is my last year with the Bucs.” The Tampa Bay community has tremendous respect for him, so it’s not like there would be some awkward backlash or hard feelings.

  7. I can see why Monte would want to coach with his son, he doesn’t exactly have years and years left on earth, why wouldn’t he want to spend some time with his son in regards to his passion? Besides that, Monte Kiffin of all things is a teacher… who better to teach than bunch of college kids? If Monte wants to go then I wish him the best of luck and offer him many thanks for the grear work he did in Tampa.
    If he does leave, I just hope the Bucs hire the best guy to replace him. Raheem Morris is the hip choice to take over but I see Morris being a head coach someday. I think Rod Marinelli or Larry Coyer would be better choices, neither will ever get a head coaching opportunity (in Rod’s case, again) and they would likely stay for the long haul. I have Marinelli as my top choice, Morris 2nd and Coyer as #3. What are the chances Herman Edwards is available? Not good, I think the Chiefs are heading in the right direction and Edwards is the right man, for now, to take that young team in the right direction.

  8. As an FSU fan, I’m pissed all of this talk is about Tennessee. Jimbo Fisher is garbage and Bowden needs to bow out.
    As for The Kiff, he can do whatever he wants. Tennessee, Tampa Bay, or even some Canadian football. I don’t care, the man has earned the right to decide his own coaching gigs.
    That said, I have to agree with a few of the above posters. With all the Gruden-to-Tennessee talk that Florio did so matter of factly, how in the hell can anybody take this story seriously? Does anybody ever notice that these specula-storys never pop up when a team is dead in the water? It always seems to happen when a team is ripe in the playoff hunt and without any negative type of publicity that can/will pull the team apart. Yes, I’m calling this story a work of art created by the media… one that belongs not in a display but spining in a toilet.
    Get real Mayor Kiff isn’t leaving the Bucs for Tennessee. He’s an NFL coach. Look no further than what has happened to Charlie Wies. Which for Buccaneers fans, couldn’t have happened at a better time.

  9. Brasho, I think Raheem Morris is the hip choice and the right one because of the way the team has played since his return in 2007. In the one year (2006) the Bucs haven’t had Lovie Smith, Mike Tomlin or Raheem Morris coaching up the secondary the Bucs finished outside of the Top-10 in defense for the only time since 1995.
    Coyer is a solid D-Line coach but is a long way away from being a DC. Though if you pay close enough attention he acts very much like Monte Kiffin – very enthusiastic, energetic and even eccentric.
    I doubt Marinelli and Joe Barry would come back to Tampa because of the way they both were bound to their contract from the upper management. It took them both years on top of years to get out of Tampa Bay for other lateral NFL jobs.
    Personally, if Kiffin leaves then there’d be a laundry list of current and ex Tampa 2 coaches and players that can come in a do some coaching up namely John Lynch.

  10. Monte Kiffin is a hard-nosed NFL defensive coach that utilizes complex schemes that puts his players in the best position to stop the opposition, and the Bucs’ D shows it on the field almost every Sunday.
    But at 68, he’s about to step into an minefield, because UT has got Alabama on the slate every year, A’IGHT, that means the father/son dream team has to face the Devil, A’IGHT, and the Devil’s got ‘Bama back on top.
    Bring on Lane, his daddy, the Cover 2, and even Warren Sapp before he became a ‘twinkle toes’, the Devil will have the Tide ready for all comers, A’IGHT.

  11. I can just see Lane Kiffin recruiting defensive players. Hey, wanna come play defense under Monte Kiffin. What’s the kid gonna say? no. doubt it. This team could be deadly in a couple years.

  12. Just so you nay-sayers don’t waste your time trying to convince yourself it isn’t going to happen, Lane Kiffin told the Vol players today that indeed, Monte will be their DC. While it won’t be an official deal until after the Bucs season is finished, it is in fact, done. Monte will become the highest paid assistant in college football.

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