After months of speculation, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will leave Tuscaloosa to become the head coach at Florida Atlantic, according to reports.
Kiffin will have his third head coaching job at the college level, with USC being his most recent. As a college head coach, Kiffin has a record of 35-21.
Many reports say that Kiffin will remain with the team throughout Alabama’s playoff run. No. 1 Alabama will take on No. 4 Washington on Dec. 31 in the College Football Playoff. When asked about Kiffin’s role with the team if he were to leave Alabama, head coach Nick Saban said he remained optimistic that Kiffin will coach in the CFP.
“We’ll do what’s best interest for Lane [Kiffin], for our program, our players. But I think he’ll want to finish the season with us.” Saban said.
The 41-year-old coordinator joined Alabama’s staff in 2014, and since then, the Crimson Tide has won three-straight SEC titles. Each year under Kiffin, Alabama has seen one of its players win SEC Offensive Player of the year (Amari Cooper, Derrick Henry, Jalen Hurts). Two players, Amari Cooper and Derrick Henry, were honored as Heisman Trophy finalists, with Henry bringing home the award.
This season, Alabama’s offense has flourished under the leadership of Kiffin. The Crimson Tide average 40.5 points per game (first in the SEC) and 471 yards per game (second in the SEC).
Kiffin will replace Charlie Patridge, who coached the Owls to three-straight 3-9 seasons. FAU plays in the Conference-USA, and finished seventh in the eastern division in 2016.
Many felt this move would happen sooner or later, since Kiffin was linked to multiple head coaching jobs. After Houston hired Major Applewhite over Kiffin, he became linked to both the FAU and South Florida jobs. South Florida hired Charlie Strong, which ultimately matched Kiffin with FAU.
Alabama players took to twitter to react to the reports that Kiffin was hired by FAU:
— Fruit PUNCH (@marlon_humphrey) December 12, 2016
Kifffffffff!!!!! Congratulations, well deserved. @Lane_Kiffin
— Jamey Mosley (@IAm_JameFlame) December 12, 2016
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Source:: The Crimson White Sports