Lane Kiffin sticks it to Tennessee after No. 1-ranked Vols’ baseball melts down in 7-3 loss to Notre Dame

Tennessee baseball coach Tony Vitello responds after his clean-up hitter, Drew Gilbert, was suspended for using profanity and arguing a pitch in Game One of the Knoxville Super Regional.

ATHENS — Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin couldn’t help himself on Sunday afternoon when a Tennessee fan came after him on social media.

Kiffin, whose checkered coaching past includes a one-season, ill-fated stop as the Vols head coach, put down a massive troll after the No. 1-ranked Tennessee baseball team was upset and eliminated, 7-3, by unseeded Notre Dame in Knoxville.

Kiffin, of course, left the Tennessee job after the 2009 season for USC, leaving in his wake an NCAA investigation that hung over Derek Dooley’s recruiting efforts like a dark cloud.

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The NCAA sanctions from the miss-steps of Kiffin’s staff — which included former Ole Miss and LSU head coach Ed Orgeron — carried all the way into the tenure of former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones, too.

It has made for a love-hate relationship, to say the least, with Tennessee fans divided in their fandom of Kiffin.

The Vols’ baseball team, much like the one 7-6 Tennessee football team Kiffin coached, was polarizing.

Unlike Kiffin’s team, this season’s UT baseball team ranked among the best in recent history even as players displayed controversial behavior.

The Vols’ had a player (Jordan Beck) flip off a Georgia Tech player while rounding the bases in regional action.

Another player (Drew Gilbert) dropped an F-Bomb to an umpire after a called strike and was ejected from the first game of the Tennessee-Notre Dame Super Regional on Friday.

Tennessee players and fans relished the “villain” role, however, and even marketed it with souvenir T-Shirts.

The players also displayed a fur cape after home runs and executed demonstrative bat flips that irritated opponents and opposing fanbases.

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