UPDATE: On Monday, FAU coach Lane Kiffin said he, too, speaks with Art Briles about FAU’s offense.
“I’ve spoken with him a couple times,” Kiffin said. “Obviously he’s done unbelievable things on offense. Obviously it’s his system that he started years and years ago. Every once in a while I will text or I will call him to bounce something off of him.”
BOCA RATON – When it comes to the FAU football program, Lane Kiffin isn’t the only coach who turns to his father for advice.
Offensive coordinator Kendal Briles relies on his father, Art, too,
Briles has even shown his dad video of FAU practices looking for tips to help jumpstart what has been an underwhelming FAU offense.
“Obviously he has ideas and he wants to know personnel and different guys, and making sure we’re getting those guys in the right spot, and getting them touches and all that stuff,” Briles said. “He’s a football coach – it’s all he’s ever been. He’s definitely involved. We talk daily.”
More than Kendal’s father, Art Briles is also the father of what’s come to be known as the Baylor Offense.
Under Art, Baylor posted offensive numbers that were, at times, obscene. But the Bears ultimately fired Art amid a sexual assault scandal that’s brought lawsuits, some arrests and an NCAA investigation.
A source tells OwlAccess.com that FAU asked Kendal to keep his father off campus. On Sunday, the first time Kendal spoke with the media since his hiring, Kendal said his dad has been in South Florida but has not come on campus.
Kendal, Art’s offensive coordinator for his final year, lost his job with the Bears after the 2016 season – which is when Kiffin came calling.
“For me, I just wanted to branch myself out,” Kendal said. “I’ve been a Texas guy my entire life. My whole family’s from Texas, so for me to have the opportunity to expand my footprint in college football and be able to come recruit Florida with this offense and the speed we play with, that was really the thing that intrigued me about coming out here and being with Lane and being able to learn from him.”
Kiffin, who hired his father Monte to be a defensive analyst and pro liaison, knows about taking risks and giving second chances.
The Owls have three players on their roster who starred in the Netflix docu-series Last Chance U, which highlighted the football program at East Mississippi CC, a school boasting a roster loaded with players who, for various reasons, were sent away from their first college programs.
Additionally, in recent weeks several high profile players – including former FSU linebacker Kain Daub, former Pitt defensive tackle Jeremiah Taleni and former Auburn wide receiver John Franklin – have transferred to FAU, prompting many in the Twittersphere to begin referring to FAU as the new Last Chance U or Second Chance U.
Rumored to be headed to Louisiana St. as an offensive coordinator before accepting the FAU head coaching job, Kiffin has now found a way to combine the two schools, and the concept of second chances, into one hashtag.
“We don’t refer to ourselves as ‘Second Chance U,” Kiffin said. “We’re LSU. By the way, know what that is? Last Strike U.”
It’s a moniker that could apply to Kiffin’s assistant coaches as much as some of the players.
Kendal Briles has only tangentially been linked to the Baylor sexual abuse scandal, which includes the accusation that the football program covered up of sexual assaults by football players, but with every lawsuit filed or every published book – Violated: Exposing Rape at Baylor University amid College Football’s Sexual Assault Crisis hits stores this week – there’s the potential for, at the least, a new distractions.
“I don’t read books,” said Kendal Briles – adding that he hasn’t spoken with any authors working on books about his time at Baylor.
Chris Kiffin, FAU’s defensive coordinator and Lane’s brother, is dealing with his own off-the-field issues. As part of its investigation into violations at his former school, Mississippi, the NCAA charged that Chris specifically committed some of those violations.
In a filing with the NCAA, Kiffin admitted to committing some of them but denied the most serious ones.
While the NCAA could impose sanctions on Chris, he said the investigation is not a distraction.
“I’m not one bit concerned about that,” said Chris who, like Briles, was addressing the media for the first time since his hiring.
Several other assistants have found themselves in brushes with the law in recent years – all relatively minor.
Kiffin may like the moniker Last Strike U, but he’s embraced the concept of second chances.
“Most of us have had them in life, especially at a young age,” Lane Kiffin said earlier this week.