During a Q&A with the Anniston Star
, Alabama Athletic Director Bill Battle said his first reaction of Lane Kiffin 'wasn’t very positive.' Here is what he had to say:
Q: What were your thoughts on the hiring of Lane Kiffin as the offensive coordinator?
A: My first reaction, because I didn’t know Lane, wasn’t very positive. I talked to Coach Saban about it. He asked me if I had ever met him and I said no. He said, "Why don’t you meet him?" He had him in for a visit, I spent about an hour with him and I was very impressed. I followed up and talked to several different people. I called (athletics director) Pat Haden at Southern California. I talked to David Blackbird, who’s the AD at UT-Chattanooga. David was the compliance officer for football at Tennessee when Lane was there. They both told me that they thought he would be a great fit here, and I got really comfortable with it. Now that I’ve spent a fair amount of time with Lane, I’m really impressed. Our players are impressed and I think our coaches are impressed with how he’s gone about things. I think he’ll be very successful here.
Battle was a three-year starter at Alabama between 1960-62 and was a member of Paul “Bear” Bryant’s first national championship team in 1961. He was hired as Alabama's AD in March of 2013.