KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee and Lane Kiffin have reached a
tentative agreement with the former Oakland Raiders coach to lead
the Volunteers, a person familiar with the negotiations told The
Associated Press on Friday.
A formal announcement was expected early next week, said the
person, who requested anonymity because the deal had not been
Kiffin, 33, replaces Phillip Fulmer, who was forced out after 17
seasons as Vols coach. Fulmer won a national championship in 1998
but had two losing seasons in the last five years, including a 4-7
mark this year.
Tennessee athletic department spokeswoman Tiffany Carpenter
declined to comment on Kiffin because Fulmer had not finished his
season. Athletic director Mike Hamilton did not return a phone
message seeking comment.
The Vols (3-7, 2-5 Southeastern Conference) host Kentucky (6-5,
2-5) on Saturday night in what has been dubbed "Phillip Fulmer
The Knoxville News Sentinel first reported the deal.
Kiffin was the youngest coach in the NFL's modern history when
hired to lead the Raiders in January 2007 at age 31.
The son of longtime NFL defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin had a
rocky relationship with Oakland owner Al Davis, who fired him Sept.
30 for what he said was insubordination. Kiffin had a 5-15 record
with the Raiders.
He's since filed a grievance with the NFL to claim salary he
maintains he's owed by the team.
Kiffin spent seven seasons as an assistant at Southern
California under coach Pete Carroll, including two as recruiting
and offensive coordinator.
He was a backup quarterback at Fresno State, where he began his
coaching career as a quarterbacks coach. He also spent two seasons
as offensive line coach at Colorado State.
Tennessee announced on Nov. 3 that the 58-year-old Fulmer would
not be back next season. He has a 151-52 record as coach.
Fulmer signed a new seven-year contract in the summer which was
worth $2.4 million this season. He will receive $6 million as a
buyout of the contract, payable over a 48-month period.
Terms of Kiffin's deal were not available.