Everything Lane Kiffin said in Yesterday's Ole Miss Football Q&A

Nate Gabler

Ole Miss football held a question and answer session with head coach Lane Kiffin last night. Here's everything he said:

On extra free time with the family:

"We're trying to maximize it. Like we teach our players, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. There's a lot of negative out there about it, but at the same time, how often do you get to spend this much time with people? Whether that's your children or grandparents, we never get this time. It's maximizing this once in a lifetime opportunity."

On the Michael Jordan documentary:

"We all knew he was competitive, how great he was. I grew up in that era, I was a young kid and remember watching him in junior high and high school. What I didn't know, what maybe a lot of people didn't know, is how he was in practice. He held teammates accountable in a hard style. That's really impressive... I talk to recruits about it, our own players about it, all those times that there wasn't coaches around and he's still doing things to get better."

On coaching four Heisman Trophy winners:

"It's their work ethic, their grit. All four of those guys, every one of them would be the first guy in and last to leave. They were always wanting to get better. Some of those guys at the highest level could have stopped pushing. Matt Leinart already won a Heisman and came back for another year. Reggie (Bush) was third his sophomore year and worked even harder going into his junior year to win it."

On favorite non-coaching activities:

Fishing. 

"That was always there a little bit, but especially those three years down in Boca (Raton). Living on the water there, I really got into that a lot."

On his favorite game as a coach:

Alabama vs. Clemson. 

"Probably just because that was the last one, national championship, to be a part of. The game went back and forth in so many directions."

On challenges facing first-year head coaches:

"There's a lot of them, and it's maximized with the coronavirus. To have no spring ball, it's very difficult. In general, the first year is just learning your roster and your staff. The staffs are so big these days, it used to just be a couple coaches and a GA. Now it's 10 coaches, four GA's and all sorts of what we call outfield coaches."

On working his brand and culture into Ole Miss football:

"It's going to be very challenging. We thought we had a good recipe at FAU, going from three wins before we got there to 11 at the first year. Again, this is a whole new set of circumstances and obstacles."

On the scheduling of USC: 

"They're great games with national recognition, two of the greatest game day places in all of college football. It gives kids something exciting to work for in the offseason, something to work harder."

On working with his father, Monte Kiffin:

"It helped a lot growing up. Not just growing up around football, but being with him and sitting in all the meetings and understanding that Tampa defense in and out. Then everyone started copying it. When everyone started copying it, that was when I was at USC. It's kind of like we knew all the answers to the test. What everyone was installing on defense, we knew how to beat it."

On the challenges of recruiting during coronavirus: 

"Obviously, there's no in-person recruiting so it's been very challenging, especially for a first year staff. It's not ideal timing. Kids are making decisions right now and normally they'd already be on our campus. A lot of zooms, a lot of calls, just trying to maximize the situations we're in."

On lessons learned coaching in the NFL:

"Just being at that level and seeing how much of a business it is. The coaches and players are on the same level. Warren Sapp was three years older than me, I think." 

Why visors over hats?

"I think it had a lot to do with (Steve) Spurrier, growing up a big Florida fan. Their style of play and the offense, that's probably where it started. The hat thing would just feel really weird."

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

"I've never hear that question. I feel like I should know that. I've never thought of it. I'm going to go with yes."

His In-n-out order:

"Knox (his son) goes animal style double-double. I just go normal double-double."

Toughest place he's coached:

Texas A&M, Oregon or Alabama. 

"At Alabama, we only lost one home game in three years, and that was Ole Miss."

Favorite fish to try and catch:

Tarpons. "With them it's almost like hunting."

What's on his pregame playlist?

Bon Jovi.

Last movie he watched:

Swingers. 

"The kids didn't like it very much. I was trying to explain Vince Vaughn to them."

Day games or night games:

Night games. 

"I used to always say day games because that's how football was born... but night games sure are more exciting."

Which sport would he coach other than football?

Basketball. "I feel like you don't have to do very much in basketball."

How excited are you to get back to Oxford and get practices going?

"We're really excited. And we hope that, when they come out with the rules soon, they give us some extra practice time with our kids. We've really missed that time."

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