New Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is tired of hearing that he's too old to coach in the NFL at age 72.
"I thought it was my jersey number by the end of the day, good golly," Kiffin quipped at Thursday's introductory press conference, according to The Associated Press. "I got the same question when I was 68 years old at the University of Tennessee. Let me tell you what. I'm 72 going on 52."
A leap year baby born in 1940, Kiffin will actually turn 73 by the start of the season after spending four seasons running defenses for his son Lane Kiffin at the college level.
Kiffin insists he's up to the task of transitioning the Cowboys from Rob Ryan's 3-4 defense to his own 4-3 alignment. "I look at coaching like this, do you like it or do you love it?" Kiffin added. "You got to love it. You got to have great passion."
Kiffin's Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense ranked in the top 10 in fewest yards and points allowed a league-record 10 times. It will be interesting to see if he can continue that success as the NFL continues to move away from the Tampa-2 defense that took the league by storm in the late 1990s.