Tennessee fans remain bitter about Lane Kiffin's departure

Tennessee fans remain bitter about Lane Kiffin's departure

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Lane Kiffin was paid $2 million for his season with the Vols but owed $800,000 to Tennessee for leaving early. Lane Kiffin was paid $2 million for his season with the Vols but owed $800,000 to Tennessee for leaving early.
"It was very frustrating," Drew Jenkins said. "I understand it was his dream job, but he left so late in the year it left us little time to find a good coach, which didn't work out for us so well. It was a pretty low blow." "It was very frustrating," Drew Jenkins said. "I understand it was his dream job, but he left so late in the year it left us little time to find a good coach, which didn't work out for us so well. It was a pretty low blow."
"It wasn't a surprise because he's just not the Division I high-level quality coach," said Russell Jenkins, a parent of a UT student. "He kind of proved that here." "It wasn't a surprise because he's just not the Division I high-level quality coach," said Russell Jenkins, a parent of a UT student. "He kind of proved that here."
"Everyone was outraged," said Ryan Shanks. "They were hoping for a new program and new coach and the coach was like ‘no, gotta go, sorry.'" "Everyone was outraged," said Ryan Shanks. "They were hoping for a new program and new coach and the coach was like ‘no, gotta go, sorry.'"

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The outrage was immediate and intense when Lane Kiffin abruptly announced he was leaving Tennessee for USC in January 2010 after just one season.

Some of that hostility remains in the hearts of Vols fans today.

Kiffin was fired as head coach at USC early Sunday morning.

"It wasn't a surprise because he's just not the Division I high-level quality coach," said Russell Jenkins, a parent of a UT student. "He kind of proved that here."

Jenkins is a lifetime Vols fan. He was in town this weekend to visit his son and see Tennessee play South Alabama.

He never wished Kiffin ill, but he wasn't pleased with the way he left Knoxville for Southern California.

"That was not a good situation," Jenkins said. "We didn't care for what he did when he departed and we didn't expect him to be successful there and that's the way it turned out. He took USC and he pretty much ruined the program."

Russell's son Drew, a UT freshman, also blames Kiffin's decision to leave the Vols for the Tennessee team struggling over the last few years.

"It was very frustrating," Drew said. "I understand it was his dream job, but he left so late in the year it left us little time to find a good coach, which didn't work out for us so well. It was a pretty low blow."

UT senior Ryan Shanks remembers the riots on campus when Kiffin left more than three years ago.

"Everyone was outraged," said Shanks. "They were hoping for a new program and new coach and the coach was like ‘no, gotta go, sorry.'"

Kiffin was paid $2 million for his season with the Vols but owed $800,000 to Tennessee for leaving early.

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