"Overall, I'm really pleased," he said. "Knock on wood, there were no fumbled snaps, two false starts, one defensive offside - for two brand new systems, I was really excited about that.
"I thought it was a great start. I'm proud of our staff because we've put so much energy into this day - this is a month of work into this day - and I thought they set a good example for our players about how to prepare."
Tennessee's preparation must have paid off because the Vols showed no signs of rust despite not having practiced football as a team since Nov. 27, or 104 days ago.
"Watching it from my perspective, I thought it looked like we had been out here for a long time," Kiffin said. "Some of the things up front that went on and some of the line calls and changes, we threw a lot at them. A lot of times, you're looking at Day 4 by the time you get to that. So I was really pleased with their preparation for practice and the energy they brought.
"(Our) quarterbacks were 75-78 percent completion. To be able to do that on a first day with a brand new system and everything really excited me. The defense came back and practiced better late. They weren't very good early; the offense got after them. But then the defense rallied and finished the day very good and ended up winning the competition in the end."
Still, Tennessee's first-year head coach wasn't exactly ready to call off the remainder of spring practice, which has 13 more workouts leading into the Dish Network Orange and White Game on April 18.
"We're a long ways away from a championship level, don't get me wrong," Kiffin said. "But we'll push them every day and we'll eventually get there. They gave us spurts of the energy of what we need to see to be at a championship level, but they don't know how to keep going. We'll keep working on it and keep teaching them how to finish."