Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin made college football news headlines on Monday by accepting a five-year contract from Florida Atlantic University to become its next head coach.
Before accepting the FAU job, Kiffin, 41, was a top candidate for the Houston opening after former head coach Tom Herman left for Texas. The Cougars ended up promoting offensive coordinator Major Applewhite as the next head coach.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said on Monday that Kiffin will remain as offensive coordinator through the College Football Playoff. “This is a wonderful opportunity for him. He’s done a great job here,” said Saban at a Peach Bowl news conference.
Now, the debate begins is Lane Kiffin taking a step down in his coaching career? Kiffin, has been a head coach before in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders, with college head coaching stops at Tennessee and USC. So, one would ask is this really a good move for him after being the Crimson Tide offensive coordinator since 2014?
Here is my take on the situation: Lane Kiffin obviously wanted to be a head coach again, and when the negotiations at Houston fell apart. He took his opportunity at FAU and decided not to take another offensive coordinator opening in the SEC. Yes, the
LSU offensive coordinator job was for the taking by Kiffin after having success at Alabama.
As FAU next head coach, Kiffin takes over a program that has not had a winning record since 2008. So, how long will it take before he gets FAU to a winning record and have the program relevant in Conference USA? Kiffin does have positives here at FAU; an excellent recruiting base and relatively new on-campus stadium. It’s true that FAU will most likely not be in the national championship discussion anytime soon. However, it will be interesting to see how Kiffin handles being a head coach this time.