Florida Atlantic to Hire Alabama OC Lane Kiffin as Head Coach

The Florida Atlantic Owls have landed their next head coach.

Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and Florida Atlantic University have agreed to a five-year deal, and will formally introduce him as head coach at a press conference Tuesday morning.

The 41-year-old Kiffin had interest from several schools before agreeing to the deal with FAU after it appeared talks between the two sides broken down talks on Friday. The agreement was first reported by ESPN.

“We think this is a wonderful opportunity for him to be a head coach again,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “I think FAU has selected someone that is going to do a great job for them. He’s done a great job here molding our offensive players to what they can do to have the best chance to be successful, and I think that’s always something that’s very telling about the quality of a coach.”

Kiffin has been an active coach since 1997 when he first started off as an assistant coach at his Alma mater Fresno State. Kiffin then went to Colorado State in 1999 for a year before he was hired by Pete Carroll to be USC’s tight end coach after a year with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL.

At USC, Kiffin went from the tight ends coach in 2001, to wide receivers coach in 2002-2004, and then finally offensive coordinator from 2005-2006. He returned to the NFL in 2007 as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, but was fired in 2008 after four regular season games after posting a 5-15 record in the NFL.

Tennessee hired Kiffin in 2009 to replace Phillip Fulmer as the team’s head coach, and he went 7-6 in his only year as the Volunteers head coach before returning to USC as the head coach, replacing Pete Carroll, who was just hired by the Seattle Seahawks to be their head coach.

In his USC career, Kiffin went 28-15 before being fired mid-season by the team in 2013 after a loss to Arizona State. That is how Kiffin found himself as Alabama’s offensive coordinator under head coach Nick Saban.

Things started to click again for Kiffin with the Crimson Tide, which lead to today’s news of him landing his third ever college head coaching gig.

Lane Kiffin has 40 career games split between college and the NFL as a head coach. (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)
Lane Kiffin has won 40 career games split between college and the NFL as a head coach.
(Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

A source with knowledge of the situation tells ESPN that Kiffin appreciated the opportunity given to him by Saban, and the accomplishments made by the team in his tenure as offensive coordinator. Kiffin is just at a point where he is ready to prove he can be a head coach again, the source also said.

Kiffin will remain Alabama’s offensive coordinator for the College Football Playoff that has the Crimson Tide taking on the Washington Huskies on New Year’s Eve.

Over the next five seasons at Florida Atlantic, Kiffin will make an average salary of $1 million. He was paid $1.4 million annually at Alabama.

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