Will Mitch Browning Board the Kiffin Gravy Train?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Photo Credit: Frank Ordonez/Syracuse Post-Standard

Apologies for the over-abundance of Syracuse related stories today, but I couldn't help but share this one. As Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com astutely points out, former Syracuse offensive coordinator Mitch Browning is considering an offer to join Lane Kiffin's staff at the University of Tennessee as a....wait for it....wait for it....GRADUATE ASSISTANT!

Browning, considered to be one of the best offensive line mentors in the country, would go to Knoxville to help in that regard. He's still under contract with the Orange for another year, so the lack of salary at Tennessee would not be a factor. The recently unemployed coach is credited with discovering talent at the running back position in Marion Barber and Lawrence Maroney, while he coached under Glenn Mason at the University of Minnesota. It could also be asserted that he played a significant role in senior Syracuse running back Curtis Brinkley finally having a breakout season with over 1,000 yards rushing.

With all of the coaching/recruiting talent that Lane Kiffin has been surrounding himself with at UT, one can already see that he's not screwing around. The hiring of Browning as a grad assistant however, would without a doubt, take the cake. If this move were to come to fruition, it would surprise me for two reasons:
  1. Even though Mitch Browning is a quality coach and would be a worthy staff addition, why wouldn't Kiffin want to use a graduate assistant spot for a younger up-and-coming coach that he could mentor; maybe even a minority candidate that could use the role as a stepping stone to future Division 1-a opportunities?

  2. Why, when Glenn Mason was fired, was Browning out of work for a year before being hired by Greg Robinson at Syracuse. And why, now that Greg Robinson has been let go, is Browning not being seriously considered for a paying gig at another institution?

Stay tuned for a link to come later if in fact Mitch Browning takes a graduate assistant position at UT, or otherwise.