Lane Kiffin: Monte ‘changed people’s lives’ as legendary Bucs assistant

HOOVER, Ala. — Lane Kiffin doesn’t need any reminders of what his dad, Monte, has done throughout his long and storied coaching career. He watched most of it firsthand, including some of his father’s Super Bowl-winning tenure with the Bucs.

But it was still inspiring for the Mississippi coach to see the outpouring of support his dad received from former players last week during a news conference about his upcoming induction into the Bucs’ Ring of Honor. Lane Kiffin called the achievement “awesome” and appreciated hearing how Bucs legends like Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp and Ronde Barber talked about his 81-year-old father.

Related: Monte Kiffin may have lost his quick pace, but not his passion

“I texted him after that just to make sure he knew how much I respect him and appreciate him and love him and how unique that is,” Lane Kiffin said Tuesday during SEC media days at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham.

“He changed people’s lives by how he coached them and how he cared about them.”

Former Bucs star Mike Alstott hugs former assistant Monte Kiffin during a news conference about Kiffin’s upcoming induction to the franchise’s ring of honor. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Monte Kiffin spent 13 years as the Bucs’ defensive coordinator. In eleven of those years, Tampa Bay ranked in the top 10 in total defense. The Tampa 2 scheme became the focal point of one of the best stretches in franchise history, highlighted by the Super Bowl 37 triumph.

Monte Kiffin has obviously slowed down since his full-time days in Tampa, but he remains active in the sport as part of his son’s Rebels staff. Last week, Monte Kiffin joked that he couldn’t spell analyst but knows what to do in that role.

Related: Monte Kiffin brought out the best in the Bucs defense

If nothing else, Lane Kiffin said his dad is showing the rest of the program how to be a professional.

“He’s still there, first one in the office every day,” Lane Kiffin said. “Pretty cool example for young coaches.”

A ceremony to honor the elder Kiffin is set for halftime of the Falcons game on Sept. 19.

Former Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin will be inducted into the team’s ring of honor this season. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

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