Lane Kiffin rode into Tennessee and set the place ablaze. He called out Spurrier, Urban, and probably Santa Clause in the process. He picked fights with anything that moved…. I believe Mickey Mouse was even a target but that’s just a rumor. All of this was supposedly a ploy to get TN in the headlines. TN needed the exposure to ressurect a struggling football program. Now if you know me I’m a HUGE Tennessee fan. I ‘bleed orange’ as they say. So I loved it all. Fast forward a year and Lane Kiffin is riding out faster than he road in…. leaving behind questionable recruiting practices, empty coaching offices, and a TN nation that has called him every name in the book (including me).
Let’s contrast that with Derek Dooley. No white horse. No big splash. Plenty of questions within the ranks of ‘why this guy?’ Less than 3 weeks left to recruit, and Dooley lands a top 10 recruiting class. Pretty impressive by anyone’s standards. In fact he landed a top recruit who wouldn’t come to TN because of Kiffin’s brashness. At a breakfast this morning Dooley said, “My goal today is not to make any national headlines.” Polar opposite of a year ago when all that Kiffin wanted to do was make headlines… maybe to compensate for an insecurity – who knows.
But my point is this: Malcolm Gladwell said at Catalyst ’09, “In times of crisis we think we need daring and bold decision making from our leaders. We don’t. What we need in times of crisis from our leaders is humility.” I love it. I believe that humility builds trust and a lasting work. False-confidence leaves a wake bodies and a house made of sticks. Which is better? “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.” Besides, we should be confident in God’s abilities through us. It’s all about Him, right?
Great insight, Jeremy. I share your thoughts about the two TN coaches and life. Miss the team and hope all is well.