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Phil Fulmer Lights Into Kiffin, Tennessee

Former Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer quietly got the last word with the Vols when his replacement, Lane Kiffin, left the school in horrific fashion. Fulmer was pretty humble and seemed to be holding back in his statement. Kiffin was not as lucky on Saturday when Fulmer served up some thoughts on CBS’ halftime show.

Fulmer said the Tennessee fans felt betrayed and embarrassed by Kiffin, which is nothing new. He added that Kiffin’s arrogance turned people off, no surprise. The best part was the point Fulmer raised about Kiffiin’s luck: “how does a guy like this end up with two jobs with historic football teams like Tennessee and USC?” Phil, we’ve all been wondering the same exact thing. Slap a different last name after Lane and he’s not USC’s coach. The Trojans will learn that the hard way.

As if that wasn’t enough, Fulmer had more thoughts for WDEF (via SB Nation). “I don’t think we should have made the change. I would have won 7 or 8 games just like Kiffin did. You could have saved all that money and heartache.”

Well, here’s the thing: the Vols wouldn’t have hired Kiffin if they thought that was going to happen, and winning 7 or 8 games is the reason they made the change — it’s simply not good enough for Tennessee. Fulmer wasn’t delivering and obviously Kiffin created a mess. The fans will have to be patient with Derek Dooley and hope he can do what his daddy did for Georgia otherwise we’ll be seeing another change in a few years.

Phil Fulmer Gets the Last Word with Tennessee Firing/Lane Kiffin Hiring

While the shocking news that Lane Kiffin was bolting from Knoxville after just 14 months on the job caused many people in the community to riot, it did leave a smile on the face of someone in Vol country (no, we’re not talking about Urban Meyer either). Despite being one of the most loyal Vols supporters around, you know former coach Phil Fulmer had to enjoy a moment of satisfaction upon hearing the news of Kiffin’s departure. Kiffin may have talked a big game but he only went 7-6, got blitzed in a bowl game, and didn’t come close to Fulmer who started off 10-1 in his first head coaching season. That brings me to Fulmer’s thoughts on Kiffin’s departure which he released in a statement:

Recent events have been painful and an embarrassment to all of us who care about UT. I love the University; I am loyal to my alma mater and am ready to help as the University makes one of the most important decisions in the history of our football program. However, to prevent any misunderstanding, I am not seeking to be a candidate for the head coaching position.

I am looking forward to embracing the next coach and have some strong beliefs about the kind of man he should be. He must embrace Tennessee’s culture and traditions, be mature and of good character, and demonstrate integrity and leadership to our young men who desperately want to be shown the way.

In other words, Kiffin was everything I wasn’t. Oh yeah, Lane was an embarrassment too. The part Fulmer mentions about culture and traditions is key; Fanhouse said that one of Kiffin’s main focuses was to turn Tennessee into the USC of the South instead of further developing Tennessee’s tradition. He was a fish out of water to begin with and he screwed things up for any potential outsider to land a big SEC job in the future. Way to be selfish, Lane. Nice going. Fulmer meanwhile has no reason to take the job now — all the people who wanted him gone would love to have him back at this point. What more satisfaction could you want than that?