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Ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers DC Monte Kiffin not ready to retire

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Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 10:18 AM

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MOBILE, Ala. -

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin will turn 73 in February, but his decision to return to the NFL as the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys indicates he won't be retiring anytime soon.

"People ask me about (retirement) all the time, and I tell them, 'Why would I retire? I'm excited about going to work. I love it,' " Kiffin said. "If you don't like going to work, then you should retire, but I'm not there yet.''

Kiffin, who helped originate the Tampa 2 defense with former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy, left his job as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at the University of Southern California to return to the NFL.

Kiffin left the Bucs for the chance to be on his son Lane Kiffin's staff at the University of Tennessee, and later followed Lane to Southern California. The Trojans were No. 1-ranked team in the nation in the Associated Press preseason poll, but finished 7-6 after a 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.

Kiffin has a great love for the college and pro games. At his age, he said, he's just glad someone was willing to reach out to him and offer him an opportunity to keep working.

"It's a great opportunity with a great organization,'' Kiffin said. "(Cowboys owner) Jerry Jones and his family were great to me and the same with (head coach) Jason Garrett.

"I know a lot of people wonder (about my age), but before the game they never ask a player how tall are you or how old are you. They just want to know if you can play, and it's the same with coaches. So, I'm excited to get going.''

Kiffin added former Bucs defensive line coach Rod Marinelli as his line coach in Dallas. He tried to bring former Bucs linebackers coach Joe Berry in, as well, but said he was was denied by the Chargers, who wouldn't let Berry out of his contract.

Dallas will switch from a three-lineman, four-linebacker scheme to a 4-3 scheme under Kiffin's direction, he said. The Cowboys also will play a lot of Tampa 2, though they will not play Tampa 2 exclusively.

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