Lane Kiffin reveals how Juice has made him a better coach

Nick Schultz08/03/22
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Juice Kiffin — Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin’s dog — took over college football Twitter earlier this offseason. But as it turns out, he’s teaching his dad a few lessons about being a better coach, as well.

Kiffin got Juice this offseason and he became a social media star, despite getting sent home from SEC Spring Meetings in Destin. As training camp gets started, Kiffin admitted training a dog is much like getting players to get on board with a program when they transfer in.

“You probably wouldn’t think Juice would make me look at coaching better, but … I don’t know how to train a dog and I don’t really do what they tell me to do,” Kiffin said. “Juice is not really well-behaved right now. Wildrose [Kennels] came and got him, today’s day three for like ‘training camp,’ so he’s on day three of training camp. They come get him in the morning, take him out, they give me a list of notes. This is what he does well, this is what he did today, they actually video the things.

“And actually, this morning, meeting with them about it, I was like there’s so [many] similarities here to buying in and bringing people into culture because we’re bringing him in and all of a sudden, he’s around all these other dogs and how well they’re trained has a lot to do with the training to him and him not being distracted by all the other things. I was like you guys are going through the same thing we’re going through. When you bring people in the organization, transfers in, getting them to buy in, here’s the puppy that he’s taken over there with these other dogs that have been trained the whole time, and Juice ain’t listening to what he’s supposed to be doing. I kind of feel like that’s similar to transfers right now.”

Lane Kiffin: Getting a dog was not a planned recruiting tactic

Kiffin joked that getting Juice wasn’t part of a big master plan to help with recruiting — even if it looks like that. He simply did what most dads do: get their kids a dog when they ask for one.

“I think a lot of things in my career maybe seem like they’re planned, how they come out … this was not,” Kiffin said. “But it looks pretty brilliant, actually. The dog was a recruiting tool and College GameDay’s already been here for a special that’ll air later on. Has his Twitter and ‘Juice Fest’ and all this, but this was just my daughter wanting a dog, which I didn’t really want.”

However, Kiffin and Juice are getting closer at home because his daughters aren’t taking care of him as much. He’s not surprised it happened, though.

“The typical kid gets the puppy, loves the puppy non-stop and then all of a sudden you’re taking care of it, well that’s what happened this summer,” Kiffin said. “Now that Juice isn’t quite so cute, she doesn’t want to take him anywhere anymore, so the dog actually sleeps with me now and kind of goes everywhere with me. Kind of typical story.”