Apr 01, 2024

Lexington native Monte Kiffin honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Posted Apr 01, 2024 4:00 PM
Monte Kiffin (Ole Miss Athletics)
Monte Kiffin (Ole Miss Athletics)

Associated Press/North Platte Post

CANTON, Ohio — The Pro Football Hall of Fame has honored longtime NFL assistant coach Monte Kiffin and more than a dozen others as part of its Awards for Excellence program. 

Kiffin was born in Lexington on February 29th, 1940, and graduated from Lexington High School in 1958. After high school, Kiffin played football for the University of Nebraska from 1959-1963 and was drafted in the 1964 NFL draft by the Minnestoa Vikings in the 15th round.  

Following a short professional football career, Kiffin would get into coaching as a graduate assistant for the University of Nebraska under head coach Bob Daveney in 1966. Kiffin would make a name for himself in the college realm starting off as a defensive line coach and worked his way up to defensive coordinator and had a stint as head coach for North Carolina State from 1980-1982. He was the defensive line coach for the 1970 and 1971 Nebraska Cornhusker national championship teams. 

In 1983, Kiffin made his first appearance in the NFL as the linebacker coach for the Green Bay Packers. From 1983-1995, Kiffin would make stops around the league coaching numerous teams. 1996 was when Kiffin would join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Defensive Coordinator and would bloom into one of the best Defensive Coordinators in the NFL. 

Kiffin was one of the architects of Tampa Bay's stellar defense that won the Super Bowl in the 2002, teaming with Tony Dungy to build the vaunted “Tampa 2" scheme that led the Buccaneers to great success and was copied by several other teams around the league. 

Kiffin spent 13 of his 16 seasons as an NFL defensive coordinator with the Bucs, also having one-year stints as coordinator for Minnesota, New Orleans and Dallas. 

Heading into the 2024 college football season this fall, 84-year-old Monte Kiffin is serving as an analyst for Ole Miss and works under his son head coach Lane Kiffin. 

Kiffin is a member of the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame and in 2021 became the 14th member to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor.