Nepotism a growing trend

Nepotism is no longer a novelty in college coaching. It's becoming kind of a tradition.

Florida State head man Bobby Bowden hired all three of his sons – Tommy, Jeff and Terry (grad assistant) – at one time or another.

Lou Holtz's staffs at both Notre Dame and South Carolina included his son Skip.

Steve Spurrier Jr., coached under his famous father with the Florida Gators, the Washington Redskins and now the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Virginia head man Al Groh's staff includes his son, Mike, as offensive coordinator.

New Mexico State coach Hal Mumme employs son Matt as his offensive coordinator.

Then there's the Stoops boys. Upon taking the top job at Oklahoma, Bob hired his brother Mike. Upon taking the reins at Arizona, Mike hired his brother Mark.

Nepotism isn't quite as commonplace in basketball, but it shows up from time to time. For instance, Ray Meyer gave his son Joey a job (and eventually the keys to the head coach's office) at DePaul. Bob Knight did the same for son Pat at Texas Tech.

Given all of the above, the fact Monte and Lane Kiffin will form a father/son coaching duo in Tennessee football is only noteworthy for one reason: In this instance, the son is hiring the father. Tampa Bay's loss to Oakland earlier today bumped the Bucs out of the NFL playoff picture, freeing Monte to officially join his son's Vol staff in two days.

Most sons would feel a little odd overseeing their father but Tennessee brass averted the awkwardness by declaring that Monte won't be working for Lane. To get around school policy preventing one family member from supervising another, Monte will answer to the as-yet-unnamed director of football operations, while Lane will answer directly to athletics director Mike Hamilton.

It's a silly little facade, of course, but the Vols' new head man isn't losing any sleep over it.

"That (Monte) reports to someone else has nothing to do with our staff meetings or our dealings or our meetings on a weekly basis," Lane Kiffin said moments after announcing the hiring of his dad.

It's difficult to imagine a 33-year-old son chewing out his 68-year-old father but Tennessee's new head man says he'll do just that if the need arises.

"I don't look at it any different because he's related to me at all," Lane Kiffin said. "I'm not going to treat him any different. He's on our staff, and we'll have very high expectations for him and we'll be very demanding of him.

"But in researching him, the thing is that he's self-motivated. He's a great competitor, one that for as long as I can remember goes to work on Monday and comes home on Friday ... sleeps on the players' lounge couch for 12 years.

"So that's who you're getting."


Inside Tennessee Top Stories