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Lane Kiffin and Urban Meyer meet at midfield after the Tennessee-Florida game in 2009.Kiffin and the SEC had an unhealthy marriage the first time around, but they'regiving it another go. Before leaving for USC in 2010, Kiffin coached Tennesseeto a 7-6 record while collecting his share of soundbites and reprimands fromthe SEC office.

NowKiffin's where he's reunited withanother assistant he famously hired away from the Tide. Linebackers coach LanceThompson followed Kiffin to Knoxville in 2009 with a verbal three-way withcoach Nick Saban.

ThatVol team lost a famous 12-10 game in Bryant-Denny Stadium preserved by TerrenceCody's last-second field goal block.

Sothere's history.

That'sall in the past as Alabama moves forward with the headline-making hire of thesometimes-controversial Kiffin.

"Hehas a very good understanding of the game and I have always been impressed withwhat I saw in the games he called," Saban said in a statement.

Kiffinsaid he was "humbled" by the opportunity to join the Alabama staff.

Butgo back to 2009, and there was considerably more tension.

Itstarted when Thompson went to Tennessee in the same role as he had at Alabama.Recruiting was a hot topic and Kiffin took a shot at Saban soon after signingday that February.

"NickSaban should have started his press conference by saying, 'Our great class thatwe signed ... I'd really like to thank Lance (Thompson) because Lance signedeight of those guys,' " Kiffin told reporters at the time.

Thompsontold the Knoxville News-Sentinel that Saban "ain't getting any more of my(recruits)."

Thompsonwould later return to Alabama for the 2012 season after remaining on theTennessee staff under Derek Dooley. Kiffin didn't bring Thompson to USC when heleft suddenly in 2010 and his former assistant said he looked forward to theday he's "always going to be looking for the day we play Lane Kiffin."

Kiffinalso irked Saban when he tried to wear orange jerseys to the 2009Alabama-Tennessee game. Both teams had to agree to the idea without the visitortaking a 15-yard penalty to open each half.

"Wewere approved by the SEC," Kiffin said, "and Alabama denied us that."

Thenafter the 12-10 win, Kiffin wrongly accused Alabama of getting away with a ruleviolation when Cody removed his helmet after blocking Daniel Lincoln'slast-second kick. He made things worse withthe following comment:

"I'msure we'll get one of those letters that mean nothing, that Bobby (Petrino) gotlast week, but Florida and Alabama live on," Kiffin said.

Thatearned him his second reprimand from the SEC office after wrongly accusingthen-Florida coach Urban Meyer of a recruiting violation. Saban responded tothe comment by defending the referees.

Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin after Alabama's 12-10 win over Tennessee in 2009.file photo

"Tocriticize somebody for their honesty and integrity in doing their job is reallya pretty serious indictment, and if you're going to do that, you need to havereally pretty specific information," Saban said. "I don't see that (conspiracy)at all."

Kiffinalso had a run-in with South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier at the 2009 SECspring meetings. He made a casual comment to a reporter about Spurrier notapologizing for questioning whether he took an NCAA recruiting test ornot.

Spurrierapproached Kiffin at a bank of elevators in front of reporters and explained hedidn't accuse him of cheating.

AfterKiffin left for USC, Spurrier said he thought SEC commissioner Mike Slive "washappy he left," on .

Onethings Spurrier, Slive and Saban won't have to worry about is trouble fromKiffin in the media. Assistant coaches aren't allowed to speak to reportersoutside of a coordinators' news conference in August and any required bowlmedia time.

Ontop of that, Kiffin as much admitted he said some of the things he said tobring attention to the Tennessee program.

That'sall in the past and his public profile is considerably smaller in this latestrole.

Yes,Kiffin's back. But the fireworks are gone. coverage | 2013 Alabama Andrew Gribble stories, opinion, news Thank you for subscribing. You should receive your first newsletter within 24 hours. To view and subscribe to any of our other newsletters, please .