Florida Atlantic offered Lane Kiffin a chance to resurrect his career as a head coach, and he might not be leaving Boca Raton anytime soon.
According to longtime college football reporter Bruce Feldman, FAU and Kiffin are finalizing a 10-year deal.
When Kiffin initially left his post as Alabama offensive coordinator for the Conference USA school, it seemed like a prove-it opportunity. The common belief was Kiffin could use FAU as a launching pad back into a power-conference coaching job.
That opportunity may still be in the future, but an updated contract likely means a larger buyout, which would keep Kiffin in South Florida for several years. Plus, the deal may provide more protection for the school in the event Kiffin pursues another job.
Pending those details, this could be a program-changing moment for Florida Atlantic.
In an interview with ESPN West Palm (h/t Palm Beach Post), FAU president John Kelly said the school has high aspirations for the program and believes Kiffin is the perfect coach to achieve them.
“I’ve told Lane that when I met with him, I thought we could be a top-25 program and we need a coach who can do that. He’s on the verge of doing that. We’re obviously looking toward keeping Lane long term.”
In his first year with the Owls, Kiffin has guided the team to conference championship and 10 wins. That’s a school record for a season as a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision.
FAU is looking to close the 2017 campaign with a victory over Akron in the Boca Raton Bowl. And if the best-case scenario plays out, it’ll be the first of many postseason successes with Kiffin at the helm.