By Jan Boston Sellers
My phone started “blowing up” early Sunday morning, even before we could get to church. First my mom, then several friends, were wanting us to know that former University of Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin was fired from his dream job at University of Southern California as head football coach. My understanding is, after a devastating loss on Saturday to Arizona State, the athletic director met Kiffin at the airport and handed him his walking papers as he was getting off the plane.
A lot of Rocky Top fans were thrilled with Kiffin’s firing. The word I kept hearing most often was “karma.” Or, in other words, you get back what you put out: what you do to other people comes back to haunt you. The word karma must have been used in texts, on social media such as Facebook, on the radio and on television broadcasts all over the Volunteer State on Sunday morning when news broke of his coaching demise.
One sports commentator had this to say about the youngest man to ever coach in the NFL before joining the ranks in college football: “Of course, it should come as no surprise, given how, committing to the Vols' faithful, Kiffin selfishly left Tennessee to take his boy wonder charm and his flair for developing quarterbacks to LA, where not only was he a complete and utter failure, but he ran an elite national program into the ground.”
Ouch. Those are some pretty harsh words. This same sports writer, Jordan Schultz, called him embarrassing, without one ounce of dignity, and a coach with “few credentials.”
I, for one, wasn’t that upset with Kiffin for leaving UT. I mean, if I was a coach at USC and UT came calling, you better believe I would want to come back east to my dream job. I think what hurt Kiffin most, however, wasn’t that he left, as much as how he did it. He also left Tennessee in a lurch with violations and sanctions from the NCAA with violations and sanctions from his one-year reign as Vols head coach.
Ironically, even though the Big Orange faithful are celebrating his departure from the Trojans, he was, at least so far, the winningest coach at UT since Phil Fulmer was dismissed and that, for most of us, is the hardest pill to swallow.
Speaking of football, the Jets and Panthers are back in action this weekend. Stone Memorial High School will host Warren County at home. The Jets will travel to Sparta, where they will take on the White County Warriors. Both games may be heard live on local stations: 99.3 and 102.5.
Thank you to Diane Miller of Westel, who read last week’s article about poster sayings in the local schools and called in one she wanted to share: “To the world, you may be just one person. But, to one person, you may be the world.”
If you like Frito Banditos, you may want to contact the Avalon Center and order one for next Wednesday. The lunch includes a bandito and dessert. You may pick up your lunch at Avalon’s Center on 196 Tenth St. or have it delivered to your office. This is one way Avalon is observing National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Call 456-0747 for additional information.