Here's are my issues with Kiffin (talk me out of it, if you can)

Besides the fact that I’ve never liked the guy…I just don’t trust him. He has always seemed like an entitled, spoiled little brat to me. I will say this - he IS an elite ASSISTANT coach; specifically, OC. But we all know that most assistants - even the very good ones - do not have the other skills (i.e., besides the X’s and O’s) they need to be successful as the head guy leading the program. I heard an interesting radio interview with Mitch Mustain a couple of days ago, regarding Kiffin. Say what you will about Mitch, but from his 3 years inside the program, he knows a lot about USC, their coaches and what players think/thought of them. Mitch said that everyone at USC speaks only in the most glowing terms about LK the Offensive Coordinator; but that when he came back as HC for Mitch’s senior year, he said that Kiffin had no personality in the locker room. What he had as an assistant - when his player group loved him - he did not have trying to be a CEO type HC. As Mitch put it, “he sucked the air out of the locker room when he came in”. That’s the first time I have heard in insider (player/coach) comment on LK in that way, but it’s consistent with my thoughts about him…great offensive mind that should stay an assistant and not be a HC.

On another point, I saw the thread where someone posted that we were looking for a “bridge” coach and Clay/Matt disagreed. Well, I do too and that’s one reason I’m against bringing Kiffin in. When you look at his history and what he did to Tennessee, I don’t doubt that if he has 2-3 years of relative success (and from where we are, that would be back to back .500 seasons), he’d be off at the first sight of a hiked skirt and whiff of sweet perfume. Let an Auburn or Michigan or Notre Dame - or, the NFL - come sniffing around and he’d be G-O-N-E. There is little doubt in my mind.

And there’s another big issue, in my mind. What, in his history, indicates that he can take a program in the condition we currently find ourselves in, in THE most difficult division in all of College Football, and BUILD a program from the cellar all the way to the penthouse? He’s only ever worked at Bluebloods (USC, Tennessee, USC again, Alabama) or against lesser (non SEC) competition at his current job. When he came in, those programs weren’t necessarily at their highest point (except for Alabama), but they weren’t in the dumpster either. He MIGHT be able to do it, but so MIGHT ANY coach we’re considering. I’d like to find one who HAS done it - or something at least remotely similar.

So, those are my reasons for not being on the Lane train. I’d be very open to responsive replies addressing those concerns, specifically. Yes, I know a lot of you apparently DO like him and want him. Frankly, I already know that and so don’t need to hear that from you. I’m looking for reasons to get past my concerns, if any such logical, plausible reasons exist.


Part of my view is biased because I think there are a limited number of worthwhile coaches who’d venture to the Hill, nevertheless what I like about Kiffin is his vast experience on offense, some head coaching experience, and a lot of SEC experience. Plus, he was virtually born to be a Hog (plus, I loved his Dad). And, he’s not too old.

A worthwhile swing at a pitch to me.

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I understand many of the less than positive feelings people have about him, because I share many of them. So my positive observations don’t come easily, but I think he possesses many of the key attributes the team needs at this crucial time, more than any other realistic options that I am aware. I don’t see anyone else who brings the name identification that both our program and recruiting need to get some mojo back. He has the contacts for hopefully attracting a high level staff and he has experience at top tier programs. The fear of him leaving is a manageable fear for me, I hope our next coach does so we’ll we have to worry about losing him. Even if we did lose a coach, the replacement process should not be as a daunting task as is the process this time.
The above does not mean there are not other interesting choices, but the others may not have as many boxes checked. Liked Norvell, last time, and still think he has many positive attributes, but just understand why many might see Kiffin as the best choice.

I don’t consider Kiffin a so called “bridge coach”. I was thinking more along the lines of Holtz, Richt,Tubberville, etc. I know many don’t like the idea but we need stability and a proven leader. Could one of these coaches provide stability and leadership? I think so but there are no guarantees. That is my reason for bringing up a “bridge coach”.

Wiz, that’s an excellent post.

Our program is at lowest of lows.

A national name coach even one with questionable past and short stops at schools could be a shot in the arm and I can see why many are willing to get on that train.

I’m on the fence.

After sugar high of hiring him, what happens next.

Can he lead us back from the bottom?

I share your concern that he would be gone the moment a top ten program calls.

But I’m not sure that we need be worried now about hiring only someone who wants to be here for life and does not have coaching ambition.

If Kiffin is going to be hired at a top 10 program, I’m assuming he will have had to have proven himself at Arkansas first.

At the least that means that he will have had to demonstrate recruiting and development and wins well beyond where we are now.

I.E. program would be in much better shape whether he stays a few years or for life.

But we would want a coach to be coveted by others and I want to believe we would be willing to pay top to keep him as well.

I agree with you on immaturity issues and whether he can really be a top head coach and manage a program. Short stays everywhere do not inspire confidence.

Of all the names out there I’m not sure there is a perfect for us.

Hopefully it’s someone who has been in the big programs or the league who is hungry to make our situation work and is motivated to bring it back from the ashes quickly.

And you don’t hire for the short term of course but ideally you bring in a guy that helps keep at least the freshmen talent that showed promise or you are truly starting at more of a deficit that one is at currently.

I don’t like the immaturity or his history of falling up.

Is he complacent or is he hungry.

We don’t have much history with him but I’m impressed with Hunter so far.

I’m hoping if it is Kiffin that it’s a well structured contract where there is perhaps market base but large incentives every stage of improvement that can be measured. Even doubling base when hitting KPI’s.

Not only will I not talk you out of it, I feel the exact same way.


I have felt and (for the most part) still feel as you do. He has behaved like a spoiled brat.
That said, there is a tiny bit of doubt in that opinion. I have said (probably too often) how much I expected Coach O to succeed at LSU. Could Kiffin be like that? Of course, the reason that I felt like O would succeed was a talk that he gave at the Northwest Arkansas TD Club. It was clear that he had learned from his mistakes.
I have NO CLUE about whether Kiffin has learned from HIS mistakes.

Not 100% convinced, but reading some recent articles and quotes from LK and watching how he took a step back out of the limelight to just coach & help a smaller program come to life is humbling. Like some soul searching.
It’s a gamble but who isn’t at this point.
I don’t how many times on this board I’ve heard how we need to go for a Bama Coord as others have with success.
Well we could have one of them with previous P5 & Pro HC experience. Just has an asterisk attached for now.

It’s a bit different recruiting for LSU versus Arkansas. O has succeeded 'cause it’s hard no to there.

Who is the last coach to win a national championship that wore a visor? Just sayin’

The whole Bama assistant thing I just don’t get - sure there have been some good ones as HCs but also lot of McElwains, Muschamps, Dooleys, etc.

Wasn’t my opinion about hiring Bama coaches, only reminding those we could have one.

Spurrier is my guess

You should not judge Kiffin by what Mitch Mustain says, not sure Kiffin is the right choice to turn this program around but if HY thinks so, then we have to support him.

Kiffin may be the best available coach to quickly turn around the AR program. He has NFL & Power 5 experience & history, some good & some not so good, plus some experience under Saban. In his 1st yr at FAU, he quickly turned around a .25 program to .64 performance.

However, Kiffin stays at programs are brief, & his departures are usually ugly & not without controversy. You would think that he had learned during his tenure at AL, but Saban could not wait to push Kiffin our - again with controversy. Kiffin wants a Power 5 program & Arkansas & it being in SEC would be the best opportunity for Kiffin to prove himself before moving on to an elite program or NFL.

Kiffin is a big risk based on his history. I would expect a short tenure for Kiffin at Arkansas & with some level of controversy. Hopefully this time Arkansas would be left with a program with better players, improved reputation, & not in need of another complete overhaul. As long as the AD has a solid & available replacement for Kiffin, he may be our best short term option.

I think some fans are looking for reasons to not like Kiffin as our HC. Most fans are looking for reasons to like him. Just different mindsets.

2 years ago, when Kiffin’s name came up, I was “OK, might work”. I thought, certainly better than Morris. Now, 2 years later, I’m much more excited about Kiffin.

As I said before, I lived in Boca for 11 years. I have several friends who graduated from FAU that I communicate occasionally during football season. My ex graduated from FAU, and yes, we communicate occasionally. They all say Kiffin has changed, matured, and stopped the ego-driven stuff that preceded him.

In retrospect, it may be good that we didn’t hire him 2 years ago as he’s had another 2 years to gain more humility and mature at FAU. Of course, I’m certain we would have have a considerably better record, than we do now. I think I like the Lane Kiffin we will be getting now better than the one we may have got 2 years ago. Maybe we just need to find him a nice 35-45 year old divorcee that loves the Razorbacks and wants to stay in NW Arkansas the next 20 years.

It may be as simple as I trust what I’ve heard and has been said and written about him these last couple of years more than most in this thread. I also think he’s a very talented offensive mind and will be a terrific head coach.

Thanks for the replies. It’s refreshing to NOT be trashed/attacked for asking honest questions about legitimate concerns.

This story has probably been posted here already - I admit that Ihaven’t been very active here in recent weeks, so I may have missed it. Regardless, it does give some perspective on LK and provide me with some hope that - IF he is selected - he may be more ready to settle in and view this as the opportunity it is rather than a chance to get back into the limelihgt.

I still have my concerns…but, as others have correctly pointed out, there is not a candidate out there that doesn’t have some kind of “wart”…we just need to get the right one, for Arkansas…not me, not you…but the program.

Fingers crossed.

Wiz there is no perfect coach for AR right now. If LK is still single it might be best so he can devote more time to correcting this mess.
Just have to trust HY in his process

Kiffin has his issues & baggage. Who knows whether he has matured. His past issues that seem to repeat, same as with Petrino, and may be more than maturity issues but perhaps character flaws.

Have always been curious about Kiffin’s ties & interest in Arkansas. He apparently applied for the AR job in 2007 while at Oakland & lost out to Petrino. He tried again when CCM was hired & now a leader in the current hiring mix. He lived in Fayetteville as a kid & called the hogs when his dad was coordinator under Holtz. What accounts for his repeated interest, & does he have long-term ties & loyalty to Arkansas that would keep him at UofA over a longer term?

Kiffin’s brief tenures a jobs has always been a consideration & concern and no doubt a part of HY’s decision process.

I have the same concerns. The best thing I can say in favor of LK is his age. I have stated several times I don’t want a guy who is say 57 or more. Not even sure about more than 52. Is that fair? No. Oh well.

I have moved from a hard no on LK to on the fence. No matter who we hire, it is a risk. I don’t think there is anyone out there that there isn’t legit issues with. We are taking a chance no matter who we pick.