Kippy would be a good fit

Tennessee athletics director Mike Hamilton is expending a lot of energy seeking the best man for the Vol football team's head coaching position when, in fact, the best man may already be in place.

Kippy Brown, currently listed as interim head coach, could be the full-time head man by this weekend. He might not be the sexiest hire but he may well be the best hire. The guy is everything the next Tennessee head man should be.

Consider:

- He's a proven commodity. After 26 years in coaching, he knows football inside/out. He even spent a season as head coach of the XFL's Memphis Maniax, so he's seen everything.

- He's a superior recruiter. This is critical, since Tennessee must recruit nationally in order to be competitive with SEC rivals such as the Florida Gators, LSU Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs - all of whom are based in talent-rich states.

- He's got 13 years' experience coaching in the NFL. This appeals to prospects who have pro aspirations because they figure his tutelage will help prepare them for "The League."

- He's a Tennessee guy, having coached two previous stints at UT. After 33 years of Johnny Majors and Phillip Fulmer, some Vol fans urged Hamilton to go outside "the family" for the next coach. When the AD complied, however, the Hired Gun stuck around just 13 months. Kippy Brown wouldn't leave UT for another college job. Consider this comment he made earlier today: "The beauty of this place is the traditions, what Tennessee football means to the people of this state. Those are the things I embrace. I'm a Tennessean, so I'm biased. The kids we have here - no matter where they're from - the longer they stay the more they'll begin to realize how special this place is."

- He's a steadying influence. Brown dismissed "the gloom and doom around here" since Lane Kiffin's resignation, noting: "This was Tennessee before I got here, it's Tennessee now and it will be Tennessee long after I'm gone. That's special. It's not the coaches. It's the fan base, it's the institution and it's the players that make this place special. That's where I stand. That's how I feel."

- He's strong-willed and determined. Check out this comment from earlier today: "We are going to make the best of this situation. We're going to have some recruits in this weekend and it's full-speed ahead. Whoever Mike decides to go with, we'll make the best of it."

- He's a realist who shows his respect for the players by leveling with them, instead of blowing smoke. Consider this quote from today: "Things happen, and the successful people are the ones who adjust and make the best out of the situation they're in. I told them that's what they're going to have to do."

Perhaps Mike Hamilton will decide to "make the best out of the situation" by elevating Kippy Brown to full-time head coach this weekend. The Vols could do a whole lot worse.

"I think I'm a legitimate candidate for the job," Brown said. "The reason I say that is because I'm very confident in my ability to coach and to recruit. I've coached at Tennessee on SEC championship teams. I've gone into out-of-state areas and brought back All-America recruits. I've been there and done that. I feel very confident in my ability to get it done, so I feel I'm a legitimate candidate."


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