Lane Kiffin is really putting the term “Vol for life” to the test. On Wednesday night, the former Tennessee head coach announced that he has added former Vols running back Montario Hardesty to his staff at FAU.
In a message predictably delivered via Twitter, the Florida Atlantic head coach made an announcement about adding the Vols star with a tweet that was capped off with the hashtag “#Vol4life.” Given the way that Kiffin abandoned the Tennessee program after one season to take another job, his usage of that term is likely to grind the gears of plenty Vols fans who wish they could take an eraser to that page of the Tennessee football history book.
For those who already have attempted to block it out of their minds, Kiffin did serve as the successor to Vols legend Phillip Fulmer in 2009, leading Tennessee to a 7-6 record and a Chick-fil-A Bowl appearance before bolting for Southern California to replace Pete Carroll at USC. His path to FAU included being fired outside an airplane by the Trojans and winning a national title with Nick Saban at Alabama as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator.
Hardesty, who had an injury-riddled four-year NFL career (2010-13) after being selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft, actually has plenty to be thankful for when it comes to Kiffin’s Tennessee ties.
In 2009, Hardesty broke out of his shell to produce 1,345 yards rushing and 13 touchdown on 282 carries in Kiffin’s offense. That season was likely key to his early NFL selection, and now, Kiffin is seemingly providing Hardesty with some post-playing days employment in Boca Raton.
Kiffin did not announce the exact role for Hardesty, and as of Thursday morning he had not been added to the FAU website as a member of the coaching or support staff. Prior to this announcement, Hardesty was listed as a running backs coach and special teams coordinator at Norfolk State.