BOCA RATON – Balancing Boca Raton Bowl preparation, the final hours of recruiting prior to Wednesday’s start of the early signing period, and all the other new responsibilities that come with his new interim head coaching role have Glenn Spencer going crazy.
But it’s a good crazy.
Promoted to interim coach following Lane Kiffin’s decamping for Mississippi, Spencer will serve as the Owls’ head coach for Saturday’s Boca Bowl even though the FAU subsequently hired Willie Taggart to lead the program moving forward.
Spencer, the Owls’ defensive coordinator, says his No. 1 job this week is preparing FAU players for their final game of the season.
“Bowl prep is about the kids, right?” Spencer said. “So that’s the first thing I do every morning when I get in here early. That’s the priority, so we have to knock that out.”
More pressing, however, is the start of the early signing period.
Kiffin’s departure tossed a little extra chaos into the process. FAU moved quickly to hire Taggart, who’s focused on solidifying, and in some cases bolstering, the Owls 2020 signing class during the past week.
Even if Kiffin had remained the Owls coach, FAU’s recruiting efforts would still have been disrupted by its appearance in the Conference USA championship game, the timing of which limited assistant coaches’ abilities to recruit away from the immediate area.
“It’s almost like the guys in a championship game are punished,” Spencer said. “And then the quick bowl game – I’m talking about recruiting now – our guys are working their tails off, especially with the situation like it is.”
Spencer met with Taggart shortly after the hiring to discuss remaining the Owls’ defensive coordinator next season. If a decision has been reached, it has yet to be announced.
Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is in a similar position; balancing recruiting, game prep and a potential job search.
“Crazy,” Weis said. “I listened to coach Spencer talk about it. A lot of the same emotions. You kind of go through the highs and lows of everything. It’s just been a really hectic week.”
Unlike Spencer, Saturday will mark Weis’ first game as a coordinator independent of Kiffin.
How much of FAU’s offense is Kiffin’s and how much can be attributed to Weis isn’t easy to discern. Weis, however, isn’t looking at the Boca Bowl as his first chance to show that he can effectively run an offense without Kiffin’s input.
“I don’t necessarily feel that myself,” Weis said.