BOCA RATON – New Owls coach Lane Kiffin didn’t meet with the FAU players for long, but they seemed to enjoy what they heard.
“I really like him,” wide receiver Kalib Woods said. “I think we’re going to do very good things.”
The Owls are also glad that at least some of the uncertainty is over.
When news first broke that Kiffin would be the next Owls coach, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair wasn’t sure how to react.
“A little bit shocked,” Al-Shaair said. “A little bit surprised. I was not really sure if it was true or not.”
On Tuesday FAU introduced Kiffin as the fifth coach in program history.
During the Tuesday meeting with the players Kiffin wanted the Owls to know that he plans to be in Boca Raton for a while.
“He’s been places where they’ve actually accomplished things already so when they do it it’s not much of an excitement, but when he comes to a program where they’re looking to build, it means that much more when you accomplish something,” said Woods, relaying Kiffin’s message.
Kiffin made a similar statement the following day during his introductory press conference.
Formerly a head coach at Tennessee, USC and Oakland of the NFL, Kiffin has been Alabama’s offensive coordinator for the past three seasons. The offense he built and called led the Crimson Tide to the championship last season and Alabama is the favorite to win it again this year.
Kiffin is known for his ability to develop quarterbacks, and while that excited FAU signal caller Jason Driskel, the redshirt sophomore wanted to discuss the big picture.
“I think it’s just exciting for the team,” Driskel said. “Now we know who is going to coach us and where we’re going. Now we need to get to work.”
Kiffin is already at work. In fact he’s pulling double duty. He will remain with Alabama through the playoffs before heading to Boca Raton full time.
As the Owls’ head coach, Kiffin is already assembling his staff.
Kiffin hired his brother, Chris Kiffin, away from Ole Miss to be the Owls’ defensive coordinator.
Al-Shaair is eager to learn the changes that are certain to be made to the Owls defense.
“You do want to know what scheme it is and stuff like that,” Al-Shaair said. “You just try to be open minded and learn new ways.”