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Packed Pavilion Crowd Offers Lane Kiffin Warm Welcome

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Chancellor Glen Boyce and Athletic Director Keith Carter introduced Lane Kiffin as the 39th head coach on Monday inside the Pavilion in front of thousands of fans in attendance.

Lane Kiffin took the stage in the Pavilion today as the 39th head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels football team. Photo by Adam Brown.

Kiffin arrived at Ole Miss after winning the C-USA championship with Florida Atlantic University two out of the last three seasons. Along with that, he has more than 10 years of head coaching experience including eight years at the NCAA level. He posts an all-time record of 61-34.

Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter said he first spoke to Kiffin about the job midway through the week last week.

“We got on the phone and had a great conversation and then was able to go down and spend about two and a half to three hours with him face-to-face,” Carter said. “We talked about a lot of different things; football, life, vision, philosophy, all those things. I think after I left that meeting I felt very comfortable that we were going to align on a lot of different things and we were able to get it done.”

Kiffin is bringing two coaches with him to Ole Miss – strength coach Willson Love and assistant coach Kevin Smith.

“We have been in a lot of work on trying to figure out the staff,” Kiffin said. “We will bring a great staff here. We will figure the rest out and interview the guys that are here and wish to keep some of them here.”

While as the offensive coach at Alabama, Kiffin said he remembers the mighty Ole Miss after the two regular-season losses came against the Rebels. He also said he spent time in Oxford one summer at his brother Chris’ house.

“I went around and saw the area and the people and thought this was a special place and that this would be a really neat place to live. You can win there because no one else was beating us. I always said that’s a premiere job,” Kiffin said.

Kiffin said he was able to pick up a lot of information on how he runs his recruiting philosophy after spending three years with Alabama’s Nick Saban.

“I think more the NFL model as far as the evaluation. He’s extremely thorough for evaluations on kids. Head coach, coordinator, position coach, they all evaluate them on a grading system,” Kiffin said.

On Sunday night, Kiffin arrived at the Ole Miss airport to a warm welcome from Ole Miss fans.

“It was pretty cool. I felt like I was in a movie,” Kiffin said. The reception was great. You could feel the energy. What I was told, it was basically a tailgate party.”

After his introductory press conference, Kiffin was going to meet with his team for the first time.

“Everyone’s got a clean slate whether you’ve been a great player here or you haven’t played at all. The good thing I think is, not to sound arrogant, but they know who we are,” Kiffin said.

Kiffin’s contract runs through 2023 for over $16 million with him getting $3.9 next season. It will go up $100,000 each following season.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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