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Lane Kiffin: ‘I’m not really big on humiliating assistant coaches in front of everybody’

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The three-year marriage of Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin ended (somewhat) amicably months ago, but it’s still capable of producing some headlines.

While wildly successful on the field, the marriage was also notable for what some would call sideline acrimony between the Alabama head coach and his offensive coordinator. Or, as Saban famously put it after one such dustup, “There were no arguments.  Those are called ass-chewings.”

Fast-forward to today, and Kiffin has moved on as the head coach at Florida Atlantic.  During an interview on SiriusXM radio earlier today, Kiffin seemed to take a subtle jab at his former boss when he was asked if he’d publicly treat his assistants the same way he was treated by Saban.

“No, that’s not really how I do it. [Former Alabama quarterback] Greg [McElroy] knows about those,” Kiffin, referring to one of the show’s hosts, said by way of al.com. “Those things come up, and everybody has different ways of dealing with them. It’s just not really how I do it. I’m not really big on humiliating assistant coaches in front of everybody. I write down notes. In the staff meeting, I explain what we want to get done.”

Saban has won five national championships, including four the last eight years.  Kiffin is 35-21 as a college football head coach.

Presumptive starter at LB leaving FAU for military career

Florida Atlantic athletics
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Nate Ozdemir is taking one for his country.  Because, ‘Merica.

After much deliberation and soul-searching, the Florida Atlantic linebacker decided last week to leave not only the Owls football program but the sport entirely. Why?  To begin a career in the military.

Per Ozdemir, his first choice is the Marine Corps, while “[flying] for the Army or any other branch” is another option. From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Ozdemir said his goal is to complete Officer Candidate School (OCS) with the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va., later this year and become a second lieutenant in the Marines. He would spend 10 weeks at OCS before returning to Boca Raton to finish his last semester at FAU and graduate in December.

Ozdemir is also a pilot, and was recently offered a full-time position at the Boca Raton airport to be an instructor. He said he would need to fly 40 more hours to qualify, but that that goal is more attainable without football.

Fearful that an injury in football his final season would hamper, even temporarily, his military aspirations, Ozdemir decided to call it quits. He also feels it’s his duty to serve his country.

“I just feel like as a grown, dominant male figure in this country, I kind of owe it to them,” Ozdemir said. “I just don’t feel like it’s fair for other people my age going and putting their lives on the line to do that kind of thing when I’m just as healthy, I’m just as fine, just as qualified to it, if not more qualified.”

Ozdemir would’ve been a fifth-year senior in 2017. In 2016, he started the first eight games of the season at middle linebacker before going down with a broken foot that cost him the remainder of the year.  He was expected to be a starter again this coming season.

While no longer a part of the team, Ozdemir is going to try to be around his now-former teammates as much as possible, a tack that FAU’s first-year head coach has signed off on.

“He’s got our support,” Lane Kiffin said. “We would have loved to have him. He’s a leader, so I talked to him about keeping him around in any way as much as we can.”

Report: former Alabama receiver suing Lane Kiffin, FAU

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Because, of course.

According to SECCountry.com, Antonio “A.C.” Carter, a former Alabama wide receiver, has filed a lawsuit against new Florida Atlantic head coach and former UA offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, FAU and the state of Florida.  The website writes that Carter’s “complaint… claims Kiffin deliberately misled him regarding a job on the FAU football staff in order to benefit from his family relationship with a prospect.”

The fraud suit was filed Tuesday in Shelby County, Ala.

Carter claims that he was told by Kiffin earlier this year that his hiring as assistant strength & conditioning coach for the Owls was a “done” deal.  He and his wife quit their jobs based on Kiffin’s assurances and moved to the campus, where Carter subsequently helped Kiffin and the Owls in recruiting.

However, after National Signing Day, Carter was told he would not be hired as he had not passed a background check.  Carter had two unspecified prior minor misdemeanor charges on his record, one of which he claimed the prosecutor refused to pursue more than seven years ago.  This turn of events came after an unnamed former four-star recruit with whom Carter had a personal relationship had already signed his National Letter of Intent with FAU.

“The prospect’s family had just celebrated New Year’s Eve together with Plaintiff Antonio Carter and his family just a few weeks earlier,” the lawsuit states per SECCountry.com. “It is believed that this relationship between Plaintiff Antonio Carter and the coveted prospect was known to the coaches and defendants at the time he was hired.”

The job would’ve paid Carter, who played receiver for the Crimson Tide in the late nineties, a one-year salary of $40,000 as well as provided $4,000 for moving expenses.  What type of financial damages Carter is seeking in the lawsuit wasn’t stated.

Phillip Fulmer takes shot at Lane Kiffin at Knoxville fundraiser

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If you’re at a speaking engagement in Knoxville and looking for an easy laugh, it never hurts to play the Lane Kiffin card.

Despite it being nearly 10 years ago, Kiffin is still reviled and hated on Rocky Top after leaving as Tennessee’s head football coach after just one year on the job in 2009.  The man Kiffin replaced, Phillip Fulmer, was the keynote speaker at a Catholic Charities fundraiser Thursday night in downtown Knoxville, and used the occasion to tweak the man who replaced him as the coach of the Volunteers.

“I miss coaching every day. I have done quite a few things. I did CBS for a couple of years and that was a lot of fun to get a chance to do that,” Fulmer said according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. “But it was real time-consuming.

“I really did it mostly to get me out of town while Kiffin was here.”

Kiffin is the new head coach at Florida Atlantic after a three-year run as offensive coordinator at UT rival Alabama.  Fulmer was in the running for the athletic director job at UT that ultimately went to Kansas State’s John Currie.

(Tip O’ the Cap: GridironNow.com)

Kiffin family reunion on as famed dad reportedly joins sons at FAU

USC athletics
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Lane Kiffin continues to add some very familiar faces to his latest head-coaching adventure.  Reportedly.

Not long after taking over at Florida Atlantic, Kiffin hired his younger brother, Chris Kiffin, to be his defensive coordinator.  Now, according to Alex Marvez of Sporting News, the famed father of both the head coach and defensive coordinator is being brought on in an unspecified capacity.

A source told Sporting News that defensive guru Monte Kiffin is expected to assist his son in some capacity as Lane Kiffin enters his first season as Owls head coach.

Exactly what role Monte Kiffin will have and whether it will be a paid or even official position wasn’t immediately known.

The elder Kiffin has twice served on Lane Kiffin’s collegiate staffs, first as defensive coordinator at Tennessee in 2009 and as assistant head coach at USC from 2010-12.  Those were Monte Kiffin’s first college jobs since he was the head coach at North Carolina State from 1980-82.

In between, he was widely considered one of the greatest defensive minds the NFL has ever seen, serving on seven different staffs in that span of 25 or so years.  Most notably, he was the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 13 seasons (1996-2008).

Last season, the 77-year-old Kiffin was a defensive assistant for the Jacksonville Jaguars.