KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — When Lane Kiffin returns to Neyland Stadium on Oct. 25 as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, there is likely to be a swarm of media interest.
But current Vols coach Butch Jones had nothing but good things to say about Kiffin, who was UT’s head coach for one season in 2009 before leaving for Southern California.
“I have tremendous respect for Lane Kiffin and what he’s accomplished,” Jones said on the Paul Finebaum show, which was broadcasting live from Neyland Stadium on Thursday. “He’s a great football coach.”
Jones noted that virtually no one on Tennessee’s roster has a connection to Kiffin or his staff. Last year, there were several seniors recruited by Kiffin.
Most of Finebaum’s interview with Jones covered well-charted ground, but Jones did offer some candor when quizzed about fan expectations for 2014.
Jones said he wants to work at a place with high expectations.
“The expectations are very high, but (fans are) also very well-educated,” Jones said. “They understand we’re in transition.”
Jones closed the interview by calling it an “honor and privilege” to talk to Finebaum, who is a UT graduate and Memphis native.
“I’m a great fan of yours,” Jones said. “Welcome home.”