Monte Kiffin's reign as the greatest defensive architect in Bucs history may be drawing to a close.
Kiffin's son, Lane, will be introduced as the next head coach at the University of Tennessee at a news conference today, and reports by ESPN and out of Knoxville, Tenn., indicate he will bring his father with him to coach the defense.
Locally, Gaither star Jarvis Giles said in a text message to The Tampa Tribune that Lane Kiffin told him during a Sunday morning telephone conversation he was bringing his father with him to UT.
Monte Kiffin, 68, called the talk speculation after Sunday's win against the Saints.
"It's all just speculation," Monte Kiffin said. "I can honestly tell you, it's just speculation, just like me going to the Raiders. It came up two years ago, and it came up last year. It's just speculation."
Lane was fired as Raiders head coach in late September, when it became known he had interest after last season in bringing his father to Oakland.
Instead, Monte Kiffin signed a contract extension with the Bucs, who have a history of not releasing coaches from their contracts. Asked if he would take that stance with Kiffin, Bucs general manager Bruce Allen refused to get specific.
"I deal with all coaching issues at the end of the season, and I deal with them on a case-by-case basis," he said.
Bucs coach Jon Gruden deferred all questions about Kiffin to Kiffin.
"I know this. We don't want to lose him," Gruden said.
At least one Bucs player believes Kiffin will stay with Tampa Bay.
"I can't see it happening," cornerback Ronde Barber said. "He's got a great gig here, and we all know it."