Originally created 12/24/06

Tide's Kines knows his role



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Joe Kines might just be the antithesis of the modern-day head coach.

Alabama's interim coach and defensive coordinator is blue-collar rough around the edges, not CEO-polished.

He uses colloquial Kines-isms as often as he does traditional coachspeak and is far more comfortable in sweats or khakis than suits and ties.

These days, Kines has the difficult task of guiding the Alabama team through preparations for the Independence Bowl without a fulltime head coach.

Kines has been here before, as interim coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks back in 1992, after Jack Crowe was fired following a loss to The Citadel in the first game.

"Start of the year, end of the year," said Kines, who led Arkansas to a 3-6-1 record and its first win at Tennessee. "One of these times I'm going to make it all the way through."

Back then, Kines really was auditioning for the top job. Now, he's a silver-haired 61-year-old who almost certainly isn't a serious candidate to replace his former boss, Mike Shula, who was fired after the season.

"It's nowhere near the same," said Kines, who has been an assistant at Georgia, Florida, Florida State and Arkansas. "This time my whole focus has been on trying to make sure when we end this thing the University of Alabama is in shape to go on and have a real good season next year, and to have a good event at this bowl game.

"Before, I spent three-fourths of my time trying to get the job."

Now, Kines is plenty busy getting the Tide (6-6) ready for the Dec. 28 game against Oklahoma State (6-6).