I’ve been doing Gus Bradley research. Monte Kiffin is his biggest supporter and I thought that was a good thing, but I’m afraid it’s not. Things got a little out of hand. Monte has referred to Gus as “special, special” in one interview. He called him a “once in a lifetime coach” in another. That’s great, but things get a bit creepy behind the scenes.
Gus came to Tampa as the quality control coach for defense. Monte promoted him to LBs coach after one season. Monte asked Gus to celebrate the promotion. The lights were dimmed. Monte poured Gus a glass of red wine, and Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is ”started playing. Gus started to say something and Monte hushed him, saying “No words, just us.”
A source in Tampa got a look at Kiffin’s diary. One troubling entry…”April 7, 2007. We had a draft meeting today. Gus touched my shoulder as he tried to get by me on the way to the bathroom. It was all I could do to not to melt right on the spot.”
Kiffin bought a tandem bike in 2007. He came home from work one evening to see his wife sitting on it. He immediately pushed her off it and scolded her to “never again come between him and Gus”. Kiffin could never summon the courage to ask Gus to ride with him. Kiffin would just sit in the garage for hours, beside the bike, dreaming of how incredible it would be to ride with Gus and talk about run fits for linebackers.
Things hit a low point in 2008. Lane Kiffin stormed into Tampa’s offices and confronted Gus. Lane angrily said “All I ever hear is Gus this and Gus that. I’m sick of you. Find your own dad. Leave mine alone. My dad used to talk football with me or talk about how hot my wife is, but now it is just Gus, Gus, Gus!”
Gus confronted Monte and told him it was over. They had to part ways. Monte headed off to Tennessee to coach with Lane. Monte made the phone calls that got Gus a job on the other side of the country, in Seattle.
From time to time, Monte still sits in the garage with the tandem bike and dreams of what might have been.