SI and ESPN are reporting this week that Lane Kiffin has hired Baylor offensive coordinator Kendal Briles to the same position at Florida Atlantic University. According to reports, Briles is being given full control of the offense including play calling. Kiffin is reportedly wanting to be a more CEO-type head coach, and this will allow him to do that.
Both coaches are looking to rehab tarnished legacies. Kiffin, once considered a coaching prodigy, was last a head coach at USC where he was infamously fired on the airport tarmac. This, after skipping town on both the Oakland Raiders and the Tennessee Volunteers. He proved that his football IQ is second to none, however, being the offensive coordinator for Nick Saban at Alabama and winning a National Championship last season.
Briles is looking to put distance between himself and the sexual assault scandal currently enveloping Baylor. Due to the scandal and the incoming of Baylor’s new head coach, Matt Rhule, it was widely considered unlikely that Briles would have been retained at Baylor.
Briles will join new FAU coach Lane Kiffin after coaching Baylor against Boise State on Tuesday in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl….FAU checked with the NCAA and Baylor and found no issues, a source told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy.
In fact, Baylor officials told FAU it had “no information that would disqualify Briles from (continuing to work) at Baylor,” a source told McMurphy.
Briles reportedly had interest from a few other schools, including Notre Dame, Houston, Auburn, Cincinnati and Oregon. He was a Broyles Award (top assistant coach) finalist in 2015.
Kiffin is known for a West-Coast offense with precise routes and complicated schemes. Briles, a disciple of the spread offense, is known for stretching teams the whole width of the field with fluid route trees and simple schemes.
Time will tell how this marriage of styles will work out.