When hiring Lane Kiffin to be its fifth football coach in program history FAU understood that it had raised its media profile.
The effect won’t ever be more evident than in college football’s quiet times. Like, say, next week and the week after.
Kiffin and the Owls host the first of their summer instructional camps for high school players (read: potential recruits) on Monday.
Coaches from seven different schools – including Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan staff, Bret Bielema and members of the Arkansas staff, along with coaches from Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Oregon, Illinois and NAIA Keiser – will take part in the camp.
“I think it’s a reflection of a couple things. It’s always a reflection of the high caliber of athletic talent in this part of the country, specifically this part of the state,” FAU athletic director Pat Chun offered as a reason so many programs are flocking to Boca Raton.
“I think it’s also a reflection of the great network Lane has in college football. He’s been in the business for a long time. Heck, he grew up in the business.”
Coaches from at least 15 different programs, all outfitted by adidas, will take part in FAU’s June 8 camp.
For FAU, the profiles of the coaches in attendance are secondary to the campers themselves.
“I think we’ve always had the philosophy: The more kids we can get on our campus the better,” Chun said. “Our campus is really our best asset. It’s stunning. It’s beautiful. We want to get as many young people to really experience everything FAU and Boca have to offer. I’ve always been of the school that the more young people we have on our campus the better off it is for FAU because the campus is our best advertising piece for football, for sports, for the general student population. We’re always recruiting and we’re always trying to enroll the best and brightest at FAU.”
FAU is expecting between 400 and 500 campers to attend each of those camps. The Owls enjoyed similar attendance two years ago when Ohio St.’s Urban Meyer was one of the guest coaches.
“I think our team’s aware that our numbers might be at record levels,” Chun said. “We’re just making sure that we’re well equipped to manage the camps.”
Between those two camps, Kiffin will head to Macon, Georgia, where he will take part in another camp for adidas schools hosted by Mercer.
FAU will also hold a camp for kickers, punters and long snappers on June 12 and a team camp from June 16-18.
On July 22 FAU pulls double duty. Coaches will hold one camp for offensive and defensive linemen and a separate 7-on-7 camp.