Head Coaching Changes For 2009

Glenn Clevenger, Sr.Contributor IJanuary 18, 2009

It seems that since Phillip Fulmer is now the "former Head Coach" of the Vols there is an observation that must be made here. That is quite simply did we do what we really should have to improve on what most apparently thought was a bad situation? After trying to find information and or reasoning that would support the decision of Mike Hamilton to replace Coach Fulmer with an unproven candidate like Lane Kiffen, I have yet to come up with a valid answer that could in any way be construed as a positive one.

When I look at the changes that have been made in different programs across the country I have been hard pressed to find any of them that possesses this kind of mystery, so to speak, other than the hiring of Iowa State Coach Chizik to replace Tommy Tuberville at Auburn or maybe the hiring of Dabo Swinney at Clemson.  I just fail to see the logic. 

I know that these decisions were supposedly made looking to the future; however I have seen most favorable decisions for the future made when there were some type of positive or otherwise encouraging reason to make the changes in question and in these cases there are none. To bring in an unproven Coach such as Lane Kiffen to a school such as the University of Tennessee in one of the toughest athletic conferences in the country is ludicrous at best. It is somewhat like throwing a man to the lions with absolutely no body armor. If everyone believes at this point that bringing in his father to help with this situation will be a saving grace you better think again.

Lane Kiffen is photogenic and seemingly energetic but more than anything he poses yet another situation where egotistical characteristics seem to be his forte. It will take more than an ego to compete at this level and anyone in their right mind knows this. This move was nothing more than a power play on the part of Mike Hamilton and I firmly believe that is what everyone will come to realize. I surely hope that I am wrong about Lane Kiffen being the wrong choice but there is absolutely nothing in his past to have qualified him to be hired for this position other than the fact that he is young and maybe more easily controlled by Hamilton than some of the more eligible candidates that were out there at the time that this decision was made.

I fail to understand why you would consider someone with so little background and experience for a position such as Tennessee or Auburn Head Coach as either of these two men possess unless it was a power play for control more than anything else.

With all of the other negatives that Hamilton has brought to the University of Tennessee this will prove to be yet another in his long line of failures to do anything other than validate that he was in fact the wrong choice for AD. His major accomplishment has been to make it hard for the average working alumni to afford to even attend a UT football game when it comes to being able to hold on to their season tickets.

He has found ways to elevate the cost of keeping a season ticket more than any of his predecessors and he has done nothing to improve relations between himself and a majority of the alumni of the University of Tennessee since he was appointed to this job.

I know some will say that he did hire one good man when he hired Bruce Pearl; but if you believe that this was his decision and his alone you had best stand on your head to see if you might accidentally improve your circulation to the brain. This was a long way from being a Mike Hamilton coup and even if it where this latest move does not come close in any comparison that you might apply.

Only time will tell. I do seriously hope and pray that I am wrong here. There is no more devoted UT fan than I have been for the last 45 years or so; but this has to rank at the top with some of the poorest decisions I have ever witnessed in all of the years that I have so closely watched the NCAA football programs across the country.  By the way, I am certainly not the only one who feels this way. Optimism is great however, it is no replacement for prudent judgement.