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Tennessee Hires New Head Coach

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (TSK) -- The University of Tennessee announced Friday that it has hired Conan O'Brien as the next Volunteers football head coach.

"This search was already a joke, so I figured 'Why not hire a comedian?'" said Tennessee Athletics Director Mike Hamilton.

61st Emmy Awards 2009 - ARRIVALS
O'Brien said he believed he was a perfect fit for the Tennessee job and could honor the traditions that some Tennessee fans, including former coach Phil Fulmer, said Kiffin was too quick to ignore.

"My hair is almost the right shade of orange and I'm used to playing second fiddle to someone with a higher profile," O'Brien said. "And we've both recently learned that contracts aren't what they used to be."

But O'Brien also made some comments during his opening press conference resembling the kind of remarks that got Kiffin in trouble.

"My heart's healthier than Urban Meyer and I've got a better hairdo than Steve Spurrier, so I feel good about our chances," O'Brien said.

Meyer was seen laughing hysterically at a Florida basketball game. Mark Bradley said the move made South Carolina the front-runner in the SEC East but wouldn't give any reasons why.

Team Speed Kills was unable to confirm reports later Friday that Tennessee was negotiating with Lane Kiffin to have the former Vols coach take control of the program. According to reports, Kiffin would be in charge of the football team but O'Brien would still hold the title of "head coach."

In related news, Mark Richt declined to comment on reports that he began the latest search for a Georgia defensive coordinator by offering the job to Joe Paterno before he was promoted to Penn State head coach in 1966.