NASHVILLE (CN) – The head football coach at the University of Southern California continued his practice of poaching coaches under contract, this time luring away Tennessee Titans running backs coach Kennedy Pola, the Titans claim in Davidson County Court.
The team’s owner, Tennessee Football Inc., claims USC head coach Lane Monte Kiffin used his Tennessee ties to get Pola to join the Trojans.
Kiffin had been head football coach of the University of Tennessee when he “abruptly departed after one season, leaving the University of Tennessee without an experienced head football coach,” the lawsuit states. He allegedly took four University of Tennessee coaches with him and later tried to recruit Minnesota Vikings running backs Coach Eric Bienemy.
Now Kiffin has poached Pola from the Titans, the NFL team claims.
The Titans say Kiffin used “improper methods” to get Pola to accept a job as the USC Trojans’ offensive coordinator and running backs coach, despite Pola’s contract with the Titans.
They claim the move indicates a “culture of violation and avoidance of respect for the sanctity of contract.”
Pola joined the Titans in January 2010, after coach Jeff Fisher fired running backs coach Earnest Byner.
Tennessee Football says Pola agreed not to “solicit discussions or entertain employment with any other person or entity during the term unless … given written permission to do so.”
His contract was set to expire in February 2011.
“I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this,” Fisher told reporters over the weekend. He said Kiffin came clean in a voicemail after told Fisher that he had taken the USC job.
“It is just a lack of professionalism,” Fisher said.
The Titans are suing Kiffin and USC for breach of contract and interference with contract.
Tennessee Football is represented by Robert Boston of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis.