BOCA RATON – FAU hired Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin to be its next football coach, OwlAccess.com has confirmed.
The offensive coordinator of top-ranked Alabama, Kiffin had been rumored for several jobs over the past couple of weeks, including being a finalist for the Houston job.
Talks between Kiffin and FAU broke down on Friday night but rekindled on Sunday. The pair struck a deal on a contract that covers five years. The salary at this point is unknown.
Kiffin, 41, fits perfectly into FAU’s search parameters – he’s an offensive-minded guy with head coaching experience. Last season, his second with the Crimson Tide, the offense Kiffin built and called propelled Alabama to the national title.
This year Alabama is the top seed in the College Football playoffs.
Kiffin’s head-coaching experience came at Tennessee, Southern Cal and with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. He’s a combined 35-21 as a college head coach, and 0-2 in bowl games. Kiffin went 5-15 with the Raiders.
None of those three stops ended particularly well. He bolted that Tennessee job after only one season – a move Tennessee fans still haven’t forgiven. During that season the recruiting aggressiveness of Kiffin and his staff drew the attention of NCAA regulators.
USC fired Kiffin in the middle of his fourth season after the Trojans dropped seven of their last 11 games. That firing occurred at the airport once Kiffin’s Trojans landed in California following a 62-41 loss to Arizona St. that dropped USC to 3-2.
Al Davis fired Kiffin midway through his second season, telling both the coach and the media that Kiffin was tearing the organization apart.
Along with being a brilliant offensive mind and a masterful recruiter, Kiffin is also known for his near-Trumpian use of Twitter along with some peculiar decisions – like having USC players trade uniform numbers to confuse that week’s opponent, Colorado.
Son of defensive guru Monte Kiffin, Lane played quarterback at Fresno St. Prior to becoming the NFL’s youngest head coach in the modern era in Oakland at the age of 31, Kiffin served as USC’s offensive coordinator – a promotion that followed stints as the Trojans’ wide receivers coach and tight ends coach.
Kiffin started his coaching career as an assistant at Fresno St. He’s also been the offensive line coach at Colorado St. and the quality control coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Reports on Thursday had Kiffin landing the Houston job. Others speculated that he would become the offensive coordinator at LSU. Either way, it was clear Kiffin was looking to get out of Alabama.
It is unclear, as of now, whether Kiffin intends to remain with the Tide through the playoffs.
Kiffin becomes the fifth head football coach in FAU program history. He’ll take over for Charlie Partridge, who was relieved of his duties on Nov. 27 following three consecutive 3-9 seasons.