Nothing like a little Kiffin love ... and hype

December, 1, 2008
12/01/08
7:04
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Naturally, there was a lot of excitement surrounding Lane Kiffin's introduction Monday as Tennessee's head coach.

But Tennessee's president, John Petersen, was especially giddy. He was showering Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton with praise for hiring Kiffin, and it didn't stop there, either.

 
  AP Photo/Wade Payne
 Lane Kiffin, right, poses with athletic director Mike Hamilton at a press conference on Monday. Kiffin, 33, replaces Phillip Fulmer, who was forced out after 17 seasons as Vols coach.

"This guy, and you look at it, and he was Southern Cal's offense," Peterson told Volquest.com after the press conference. "He was Southern Cal's recruiting. He's been in this game a long time."

Wonder what Norm Chow thinks about that? Wonder what Steve Sarkisian thinks about that? Wonder what Pete Carroll thinks about that?

Pretty interesting.

The Vols are paying Kiffin $2 million his first year. His contract runs for six years through 2014 and escalates to $2.75 million by the final year for an average of $2.375 million.

It's going to cost the Vols a bunch of money to fire Kiffin. They paid Phillip Fulmer $6 million to take a hike, and Kiffin's buyout his first two years would be $7.5 million, then drops down to $6.25 million his third and fourth years and $5 million his last two years.

Meanwhile, it won't cost Kiffin nearly as much money if he wants out. His buyout if he were to leave for another job would be $1 million the first year and then decreases by $200,000 every year after that.

Kiffin said he went through the interview process with the other major schools that had openings this year (Clemson and Washington) and that there was no comparison to Tennessee.

"We have enough to win here now," Kiffin said.

While he embraces the gaudy expectations at Tennessee, he said he wasn't going to make a bunch of promises out of the gate.

"I'm rolling my sleeves up and going to work," Kiffin said. "I'm not promising you how many wins we're going to have, how many championships. I can't do that. I don't know that. There are too many variables. But I can tell you this right now. No one is going to outwork us. No one is going to outwork me as a head coach, and no one is going to outwork our staff that we're going to put together. That's the promise I'm giving you.

"The wins will come after that. You're going to see it and feel it throughout the state. It starts today. I'm getting on a plane and going to Memphis to see the No. 1 recruit."

That would be receiver Marlon Brown of Harding Academy in Memphis.

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