Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monte Kiffin and Leadership

I've never like the University of Tennessee football team. For reasons that are probably unreasonable. But now I have one more reason that is perhaps a bit more, well, reasonable. They recently hired Lane Kiffin as their head coach. That joker is only 2 years older than I am. Crazy.

But the real problem is that his father is Monte Kiffin, the Buc's defensive coordinator for the last 13 or so years. Guess where he'll be going next year? To coach with his son. Can you imagine being your dad's boss?

One of the things that both former Buc's coach Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin were really good at was leadership development. A number of Dungy's assistants, and several position coaches under Monte have gone on to head coaching and defensive coordinating positions.

The mark of a good leader in any arena, in my opinion, is indispensability. Is he making the church, organization, or team utterly dependent upon him or is he doing everything possible to develop leadership under him. In other words, will the organism go south when he leaves, retires, or dies? Or did he/she do all that was possible to make him/herself dispensable?

Some sports talk host believed that the mark of a good coach was how well the team did when he left. He argued in that light, Gruden is great: the Raiders still haven't recovered; Dungy was not so good: the Bucs won the Superbowl the next year. Yet even secular models of leadership, as presented in Good to Great, recognize the need to be team-centered as opposed to being single leader-oriented.

That leadership reflection finds reference in II Tim 2:2, where Paul tells Timothy, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." Any leader who fails to train up other leaders fails to lead well. Otherwise he/she will just be creating a culture that is dependent upon him/her.

We'll see how well Monte Kiffin trained up others under him (they'll probably hire within, getting a "Kiffin disciple") next year as the Bucs will spend their first year without him calling plays. Based upon Kiffin's philosophy and track record, the Buc's should be fine.


Rebekah said...

You lost me on the rest of the post after you said Monte Kiffin is leaving the Bucs. Now there's barely any reason to keep watching, other than hometown loyalty.

I still will hate Tennessee though.

Geoffsnook said...


Nothing is confirmed about Monte, but the writing is still on the wall. He's really the last Dungy hold-over.

Glad to see you'll still not like Tennessee. Rocky Top gets old really quickly.