Losing the title of defensive coordinator this offseason, after just one year in that position, hasn’t dampened Monte Kiffin’s spirits much. As you may have heard, Rod Marinelli was promoted from defensive line coach to defensive coordinator, while Kiffin remains on the staff--under the title of “assistant head coach/defense”--and as enthusiastic as ever.
“I’m really excited,” Kiffin told the team’s official website. “I’m really fired up. I’m not down one bit, I’m really not. I can’t coach that way. I wouldn’t stay here if I didn’t feel right. If I knew I didn’t want to contribute and it wasn’t going to be a good situation, I probably would have moved on. But I really like it. I like it here. I like the head coach, but Rod’s the guy, and I’m fired up, players are fired up, we’re all fired up.”
It helps that Kiffin has a strong relationship with the man to which he handed the reins. He and Marinelli’s working relationship dates back to 1996, when Marinelli began working under Kiffin in Tampa Bay.
“I know he’s a great coordinator,” Kiffin said. “He’s a darn good head coach, he just didn’t get much of a shot in Detroit. But we work so well together.”
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