Nick Saban: FAU Job Is ‘Great Opportunity’ For Lane Kiffin

Alabama head coach Nick Saban believes offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has a great opportunity after being hired as FAU’s head coach.

Nick Saban gave Lane Kiffin a chance at redemption after he had been fired unceremoniously from USC.

Now, after three years under the tutelage of the Alabama head coach, Kiffin is getting another chance to prove he can be successful as a head coach, and Saban has the utmost confidence that Florida Atlantic made a great hire.

“I think FAU has selected someone that is going to do a great job for them,” Saban said on Monday. “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.”

The uniting of Kiffin and Saban was seen as a major risk for the latter in 2014, when the 41-year-old Kiffin was brought in as offensive coordinator for a program that had won three national titles in the previous five season. Kiffin, who can be cocky and never afraid to speak his mind, was seen as the polar opposite of the “keep everything under the vest” Saban. The experiment worked, though, as the Crimson Tide opened up the offense and made the College Football Playoff in all three years since Kiffin’s arrival, including winning it all last season.

It is up to Kiffin, who will serve as Alabama’s offensive coordinator through the CFP, now to see where he goes, taking over a program that has only been in existence since 2001 and has had trouble attracting recruits against the other big schools–Miami, FSU, and Florida–in the Sunshine State.

From being fired in an airport in 2013 to now the head of the FAU program, Kiffin has great potential ahead of him, said his future former boss.

“We think this is a wonderful opportunity for him to be a head coach again,” Saban said.

MORE: Lane Kiffin’s Inevitable Departure From Alabama Will Show Whether He’s Matured