They are coming from fellow coaches across the nation reading media reports suggesting that Kiffin is leaving for this or that job, hoping for a ticket on the Lane Train.
“I hear from a lot of coaches that have been fired, because they want jobs,” Kiffin said. “A couple want to go to one of those schools that’s reported.”
Kiffin’s also been treated a little bit differently by current coaches and staffers within the Oxley Center, many of whom would like to join Kiffin should he leave Florida Atlantic for another job.
“I had like five people ask me if I wanted dinner,” Kiffin said, laughing.
In recent days media reports – some citing facts, others simply speculating – linked Kiffin to vacant head coaching opportunities at Arkansas, Florida St., Missouri and Mississippi. Sources tell OwlAccess.com that Kiffin met with Arkansas officials on Sunday in South Florida.
There are no credible reports of Kiffin meeting with representatives from any other school. If he did discuss potential jobs with other schools, Kiffin isn’t talking about it publicly. Nor would he even acknowledge the Arkansas interest.
“I don’t comment on job searches, never have, and what’s going on with them,” Kiffin said. “Not going to start now.”
Kiffin made the remarks shortly after leaving the practice field on Wednesday. FAU is one of only 22 teams preparing for games on Saturday’s championship weekend. The Owls face UAB on Saturday with the Conference USA title on the line.
The Owls are looking to win their second C-USA in the three years since Kiffin arrived in Boca Raton. Members of the conference since 2013, the Owls’ only trips to the Conference USA championship game have come under Kiffin’s guidance.
FAU is 25-13 under Kiffin. In the seven years prior to Kiffin’s arrival, dating back to the Howard Schnellenberger era, the Owls totaled only 23 victories.
FAU players, accustomed to dealing with off-the-field potential distractions surrounding or created by Kiffin, say the current whirlwind of job rumors naming Kiffin aren’t affecting their focus on UAB.
“We don’t pay attention to it,” Jefferson said. “We’ve got a championship to win this week.”