Lane Kiffin jokes about joining Jon Gruden at Tennessee

By David Kenyon

Lane Kiffin has been an active presence on social media since taking over at Florida Atlantic, and he added a little fun to the rumors involving Jon Gruden and Tennessee.

ESPN’s Chris Low not-so-seriously asked Kiffin — who coached at Tennessee for a year and is sometimes mentioned in the current search — whether it was true Gruden would join the staff as a graduate assistant.

Kiffin turned the question around, saying he’d be a GA for Gruden instead.

Either way, that’s the foundation of an elite staff.

Jokes aside, rumors have linked Gruden to Tennessee each of the last three occasions the program needed a new head coach. The connection picked up metaphorical steam when Gruden called Tennessee a “dream job” in 2015. He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant in Knoxville 31 years ago.

Will this time be any different? That’s the big question, but probably not. Gruden, a color commentator for Monday Night Football, is the highest-paid ESPN employee. He’s previously expressed a hesitation to be a head coach in college due to concerns with recruiting rules, too.

But as long as Tennessee doesn’t have a coach, the Grumors will swirl. Message boards will proclaim a “done deal.” And hopefully, Kiffin keeps tossing in a few jokes.