Breaking News
More () »

Knoxville Breaking News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WBIR.com

"Lane Kiffin Sewage Center" proposal lingers for lawyer

A 2010 proposal to put Lane Kiffin's name on a Knoxville sewage plant still lingers for the lawyer who came up with the idea.
A Knoxville lawyer proposed naming a sewage plant for Lane Kiffin when the quit as Tennessee coach in 2010.

(WBIR - Knoxville) Lane Kiffin's return to Knoxville as Alabama's offensive coordinator is a hot topic this week. But many UT fans say they've put the former head coach's time at Tennessee firmly in the past.

That includes the Vol fan who still gets national attention for trying to rename a Knoxville sewage plant in Kiffin's honor in 2010.

"I don't hate the guy [Kiffin]," said Knoxville attorney Drew McElroy. "I just don't think about him a whole lot. I'm sure he doesn't think about me or the sewage center much either."

In 2010, just a week removed from the scorn of Kiffin's decision to vacate the Vols in favor of USC, McElroy caught the not-so-sweet scent of revenge.

"I was driving through campus and you see all of the road signs for Peyton Manning, Fulmer, Holdsclaw, and Summitt. Then when I pulled onto Neyland Drive, I'm driving by and there's the waste-water treatment plant. I just kind of connected the dots."

McElroy made humorous headlines when he wrote a $262 check to the City of Knoxville to officially propose changing the name of the facility to the "Lane Kiffin Sewage Plant."

"The story caught on I guess because of its uniqueness and perhaps the humor in it," said McElroy. "I did the story with WBIR and the next thing you know it was all over the country."

The proposal was short-lived. The City of Knoxville had transferred ownership of the waste water treatment facility to the local utility company. The city no longer had the authority to change the name, even if it wanted to.

Related: Kiffin's Haircut Heist - coach owes $14 to Knoxville barber

The city returned McElroy's application and check for $262. That was it. End of story. At least, that's what McElroy thought.

"I couldn't believe the impact it had. That story took on a life of it's own. For months and months down the road, I couldn't believe the number of calls. I was getting calls from Bryant Gumbel with HBO Real Sports, Rick Reilly with ESPN. Anytime someone is doing their homework on Lane Kiffin, they'll come across this old story and call me up. It didn't cost me any money, but it has cost me a lot of productivity through the years to constantly give interviews," laughed McElroy.

McElroy said last week he was interviewed by Sports Illustrated for a story on Kiffin's return to Knoxville. Monday morning he did an interview with a Tuscaloosa news outlet. Anytime there's news about Lane Kiffin, there's a chance someone will catch a whiff of McElroy's attempted sewage salute.

While McElroy did not succeed in changing the name of the waste-water treatment plant, he created a lasting online legacy that still lingers with any search of Kiffin's name.

"As far as I'm concerned, it had the perfect ending. I got my money back. And as long as there's an internet, Lane Kiffin will be forever tied to a sewage center. And I think he's right where he should be. He is a truly offensive coordinator," quipped McElroy.