Perhaps unlike in any other conference in college football, SEC coaches are treated like rock stars. Well, with fame comes autograph requests. Lots of them. Some of them even more strange than you could imagine.
ESPN reporter Heather Dinich compiled some of the funniest stories regarding autograph requests for college football coaches and the SEC dominated the list.
Of all the stories, these about former Tennessee head coach/Alabama OC Lane Kiffin might be the best.
“They mailed it back to me”
Lane Kiffin was head coach at USC when some of his own autographed items were sent back to him. It had a little something to do with him leaving for the Trojans just 14 months after he was hired in Knoxville.
“A Tennessee fan mailed me things I signed for him because they said they don’t want this trash in their house,” he said, “so they mailed it back to me.”
It wasn’t as painful as the request he received from a die-hard Alabama fan who handed him a picture of the 2009 “Rocky Block” play to sign at fan day. Kiffin was the head coach at Tennessee when the Vols lost to the Tide 12-10 after Alabama’s Terrence Cody blocked Tennessee’s attempt at the game-winning field goal.
Kiffin was Alabama’s offensive coordinator when he was handed the picture to sign. “She asked me to sign it with ‘Roll Tide’ on it,” Kiffin said, sounding still incredulous at the request.
“I said, ‘I’ll sign it, but I don’t think I can really write ‘Roll Tide’ on this picture.”
Hilarious stuff. One can almost imagine the deadpan stare on Kiffin’s face as the boastful Bama fan serves him that humble pie.
For sheer shock factor, the story about Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is in a class of its own. A rabid Razorbacks fan lobbied and ultimately prevailed in persuading Bielema to sign his prosthetic arm.
“It was a little bit of everything — a little guilt, a little remorse, a little of everything,” he said. “It was unbelievable.”
Another bizarre entry comes via Auburn, where a fan ”weirded” Gus Malzahn out by having him unknowingly sign a digital photo of a colonoscopy.
The final story was a Georgia fan putting his money where his mouth is for charity, which resulted in then-Bulldogs coach Mark Richt writing “Go Dawgs” across a good natured Georgia Tech fan’s forehead.
Look no further as to why SEC fans are renowned for their passion.