BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is being pursued by Florida Atlantic to become the Owls’ next head coach, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Friday night.
Kiffin and the Owls have had dialogue, said both people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither side has spoken publicly about the matter.
Kiffin has been the coordinator at Alabama for the last three seasons, helping the Crimson Tide win last season’s national championship and get back to the College Football Playoff with the No. 1 ranking this year.
He has been frequently mentioned for other jobs, and the former USC, Tennessee and Oakland Raiders head coach also was believed to be a candidate for now-filled head coaching openings at Oregon and Houston in recent days.
Alabama coach Nick Saban recently acknowledged that he wants to help Kiffin get a chance to lead a program again.
“We’ve had conversations about it,” Saban said. “He wants to be a head coach. I want him to be a head coach. I want to help him get a head coaching job.
“The rest of it, we have not discussed, and I don’t think it’s the right time.”
Football Scoop first reported the interest FAU has in Kiffin.
Landing Kiffin would be a major coup for FAU, which has gone 3-9 in each of the last three seasons and fired Charlie Partridge last month. The Owls haven’t been to a bowl game since making back-to-back appearances under Howard Schnellenberger in 2007 and 2008.
Since those bowl years, FAU is 28-67.
Even being in the conversation with Kiffin means FAU is willing to make some serious salary upgrades. Partridge had two years left on what was a five-year, $2.7 million deal with FAU. Kiffin is making $1.4 million this season at Alabama.
Kiffin lasted 20 games with the Raiders in 2007 and 2008, going 5-15. He was 7-6 in 2009, his lone season at Tennessee. And he went 28-15 in parts of four seasons at USC, getting fired five games into the 2013 season.
He went to Alabama the following year and has been an annual fixture in coaching-opening whispers since.
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