Lane Kiffin has found himself in the headlines quite a bit in his comparatively brief coaching career.
After spending the last three years at Alabama rebuilding his image and biding his time until his next opportunity to call the shots, it finally came. Kiffin is now the head coach at FAU, an obvious step down from coaching at USC or Tennessee, but appears ready to make the most of the opportunity.
Kiffin has a tendency to draw strong opinions from everybody. That certainly doesn’t exclude those who have played the most important position in football under his guidance.
While the head coach at the SEC and Tennessee powerhouse, Kiffin drew starkly different opinions from his quarterbacks there. Tennessee’s Johnathon Crompton gave a glowing review, he got less love from another former signal-caller.
Former USC quarterback Mitch Mustain had less than favorable things to say about his old ball coach.
“It just seemed to us, there was no effort for it. It was almost as if he was wholly disinterested in being the head coach. You can tell he enjoys the play-calling. He enjoys working with the offense and making that run. He was very good at it. As for the whole thing, it seemed that maybe it just wasn’t really where he wanted to be.”
Mustain did say that the negative labels regularly applied to Kiffin were not “100 percent deserving.”
That is perhaps the only place he and Crompton agree.
In fact, the former Volunteers field general had nothing but good things to say.
“He knows what he’s doing,” Crompton said. “He knows how to relate to young kids, to get them motivated. He knows how to relate to get freshman to be able to play, get them ready early. And he can adjust on the run, especially in-game, very, very well.
“I loved him. He was the old cliché of a players’ coach. Truly, truly was, though. I’m assuming he still is. His work ethic game planning was second-to-none.”
Kiffin will be tasked with something entirely new this time, though. He isn’t joining a program with a rich history, prestige or a huge fan base. He’s joining the FAU Owls, a team that plays in the Sun Belt conference and hasn’t finished over .500 since 2008.
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Photo Credit: FAU Twitter