Kiffin is in his third season as the head coach at Florida Atlantic. He has helped the Owls achieve success, as they’re playing the conference championship game for the second time in three seasons, and he seems to be enjoying Boca Raton.
Previously considered too toxic for hire due to poor stints in Tennessee, USC and with the Raiders, Kiffin has apparently rebuilt his brand well enough to the point that two SEC programs have had interest in him.
Even though this report says it’s close to a done deal, don’t assume that Arkansas won’t get back in the mix, or that Kiffin won’t somehow reach a deal to remain at FAU.
The SEC West is the toughest division in college football, and taking over at Ole Miss or Arkansas while having to compete against LSU, Alabama, Auburn and even Texas A&M is almost setting one’s self up for failure. But Kiffin’s never been one to make a measured career move.
Lane Kiffin has been heavily linked to the Arkansas head coaching vacancy, and there are some who believe he would welcome the opportunity to coach in the SEC again. However, it is also possible that Kiffin will take advantage of all the speculation and parlay it into a raise from his current employer.
Doug Samuels of Football Scoop reports that Florida Atlantic is preparing an offer that would entice Kiffin to remain with the Owls. While there is still a chance Kiffin could end up at Arkansas, he could opt for remaining at FAU with a higher salary over taking on the difficult task of trying to rebuild with the Razorbacks.
FAU signed Kiffin to an extension through 2027 after he led the team to a Conference USA championship in his first season on the job two years ago. They also loaned him $2 million to purchase a home, and he would have to repay that loan if he leaves the school before 2021.
Kiffin’s interest in the Arkansas job may be legitimate, but he has a good situation at FAU and may simply be trying to take advantage so he can get more money. He has already denied wanting to be considered for another high-profile job, and trying to keep pace with Alabama and Auburn in the SEC West could prove to be an insurmountable challenge.
The Florida Atlantic coach has reportedly met with Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek, according to Doug Samuels of Football Scoop. The two sides have had “significant conversations” about the job, but there is no guarantee Kiffin would take the position. The situation is also complicated by the fact that Kiffin is busy preparing for the Conference USA championship game.
Arkansas’ search appears wide open at this point. Iowa State’s Matt Campbell is reportedly the school’s top choice, but he is unlikely to take the job. They have also looked at Washington State’s Mike Leach and Memphis’ Mike Norvell.
Arkansas wants a big name hire, and Kiffin would certainly qualify, though it’s arguable that he’s a big name for the reasons they want. He went 7-6 at Tennessee before fleeing to USC, where he went 28-15 before being fired. He’s 25-13 in three seasons so far at FAU.
Kiffin has been linked to other big jobs and downplayed his interest. This one definitely seems to be up in the air.
Earlier reporting Monday suggested Kiffin wanted the job. Maybe he does and is denying it right now because there’s no indication that Florida State is interested. We may never find out. But Kiffin is a smooth operator and used it to urge people to come to Florida Atlantic. When you’re in the spotlight, might as well make the most of it. Kiffin has never failed to do just that.
Look out, folks. Lane Kiffin wants back into the Power Five.
According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, Kiffin has expressed his interest in the Florida State job on the heels of Willie Taggart’s Sunday firing.
Of course, that interest has to be mutual, and for now, we don’t know that it is. Kiffin went 35-21 at Tennessee and USC, but he left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth with rocky departures from each job. He does know the state of Florida, as he’s taken over at Florida Atlantic and found some success.
Conference USA fined Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin $5,000 over the weekend for violating the league’s sportsmanship policy after he tweeted a photograph mocking game officials and suggesting they are blind.
“I just lost $5,000 for a tweet,” Kiffin told ESPN on Sunday. “We have freedom of speech, but I guess around here there’s no such thing as freedom to tweet. Maybe LeBron James will come out and comment about it tomorrow.”
In a 36-31 loss to Marshall on Friday, Florida Atlantic was penalized nine times for 90 yards, including several penalties that came in key moments of the game. And while Kiffin was hesitant to call the referees out following the loss, he obviously chose to take a different approach once he signed onto Twitter.
In the aftermath of Kiffin’s tweet and subsequent fine, USC Trojans long-snapper, Jake Olson, who is legally blind, sent a hilarious tweet of his own to Kiffin.
My man @Lane_Kiffin I’m for hire!! Although to be completely transparent I have a interview with Larry Scott’s office on Monday… so hmu quick if you’re interested! https://t.co/BDRvi98GLB
Lane Kiffin took a hilarious shot at the Conference USA officials after his Florida Atlantic team lost 36-31 against Marshall on Friday night and has been fined for it.
Kiffin’s Owls were called for nine penalties in the game, many of which had the coach upset. Kiffin did not criticize the refs in his postgame press conference, citing a lack of funds in case of a fine.
#FAU Head Coach @Lane_Kiffin: I'm not going to get into officiating. I'm not going to lose money over it. I'm not sure if (C-USA fines), but I don't have the money.
Kiffin tagged the conference in his tweet, ensuring they would see it. They fined him $5,000 as a result.
Kiffin said he thought he had sent a funny tweet but the conference obviously didn’t see it the same way. Then Kiffin complained about “no freedom to tweet.”
#FAU Head Coach @Lane_Kiffin on his tweet critiquing the officiating in Owls' loss to #Marshall: Obviously I was not happy with the refs. I sent what I thought was a funny tweet, but I guess they (C-USA) didn't think it was as funny as I did. I guess there's no freedom to tweet.