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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Kiffin glad he didn't get Gophers job

Before being hired as the Oakland Raiders' head coach in January, Lane Kiffin interviewed for the vacant University of Minnesota job, but the Bloomington Jefferson High grad said he's happy now that he didn't get it.

"Actually, I am glad," Kiffin said during a conference call with the Vikings' media. "No, I was very interested. I spent a day in the interview process there with three guys, the athletic director (Joel Maturi) and two of his assistants. I felt it was a good interview, Obviously, they decided to go a different direction, but I think the university is a great place and I think it's a great job. I'm sure they’ll turn it around and get back to winning."

Kiffin, whose Raiders face the Vikings this Sunday at the Metrodome, said there's no reason why the Gophers (1-10 under first-year coach Tim Brewster) can't be as successful as the football programs at Wisconsin and Iowa.

Asked if he was upset about not getting the job, Kiffin said: "I wouldn't say I was really upset. I take it as it wasn't meant to be. For whatever reason, Joel felt like going in a different direction. From my half, I thought it was a good fit and really had a strong belief in things that could get done there and the direction that Joel was going. But it is what it is. That's why I didn’t get upset because I think things are meant to be and fortunately it's worked out extremely well for me."

Maturi, as a matter of policy, doesn't comment on coaching candidates unless they were finalists, which Kiffin was not.


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