The "best shape of my life" trope usually applies to players as they're approaching a new season. Count Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin among the exceptions.
Kiffin told ESPN's Chris Low he has lost more than 30 pounds since the end of the 2020 season, describing himself at that point like "an anaconda that had swallowed a deer and the deer got stuck in its neck."
He explained how he wanted to set an example for his players when emphasizing the need for staying in shape.
"That goes for all of us, starting with me," Kiffin said. "Here I am in postseason meetings back in January telling my offensive linemen and other guys that they needed to eat better, lose weight, get in better shape, and I looked like a whale."
According to Low, Kiffin followed a "strict diet" while getting into Pilates, yoga and running. As a result, he's tipping the scales at around 210 pounds, down from 245.
His weight loss falls under the Rebels' larger pursuit of increased accountability in Kiffin's second year in charge, which was recently exemplified by the 100 percent COVID-19 vaccination rate within the Ole Miss football program.
The team finished 5-5 and beat Indiana in the Outback Bowl in 2020. Matt Corral returns after throwing for 3,337 yards, 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions and finishing with the team's second-most rushing yards (506). The Rebels do, however, have to replace leading receiver Elijah Moore, a second-round pick of the New York Jets in the 2021 NFL draft.
Kiffin's squad will be put to the test somewhat early in the season with a road trip against Alabama on tap for Oct. 2.