Lane Kiffin denies son was named for Knoxville

Thu, Aug 4

Lane Kiffin and wife Layla welcomed their first son into the world on Jan. 13, 2009.

The birth came just weeks after Kiffin accepted the position of head football coach at Tennessee, and countless bloggers, pundits, fans, critics and legitimate media outlets reported that the Kiffins named their son, Monte Knox Kiffin, after the city of Knoxville.

It's obvious where the child's first name came from. Kiffin's father, Monte, is a highly regarded defensive coach who has worked in the NFL and major college ranks for decades. But the child goes by his middle name, Knox. So when Kiffin left Tennessee to become head coach at USC in January 2010, some of his detractors took joy in the fact that even though he left Knoxville after one season, his son would presumably be branded a Volunteer for life.

If you count yourself in that camp, curb your enthusiasm … because Kiffin told Page 2 it's not true during his recent visit to ESPN headquarters.

"He was named before I even got the job, actually," Kiffin said. "[Layla] picked out the name because she had seen somebody else had named their kid Knox. I think it was Brad [Pitt] and Angelina [Jolie], actually. She had picked it out when we were still living in California."

[Editor's note: Page 2 interviewed all the Pac-12 head football coaches during their recent visit to ESPN headquarters. Look for excerpts all month in the Page 2 blog. Page 2's Pac-12 questionnaire -- where coaches voted on the most attractive cheerleaders, best mascot, most dapper coach and much more -- will be released on Thursday, Aug. 25, along with Q&A interviews from all 12 coaches.]