Lane Kiffin: 'I'm not big on humiliating assistant coaches in front of everybody'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday April 19, 2017

Your lasting memory of Lane Kiffin at Alabama might be Nick Saban yelling at him, but he doesn’t plan to do the same thing as a head coach at FAU.

Former Tide defensive lineman Jonathan Allen said Tuesday that it was a goal of the Alabama defenders to get Saban upset about the offense in practice and lay into Lane Kiffin. It wasn’t necessarily about Kiffin for Allen. It was about getting the defense to dominate. Allen said Kiffin was the only coach who would respond to Saban in those situations, but Saban always got the last word. 

But Kiffin joined SiriusXM College Sports Nation on Tuesday and was asked if he plans to blow up on his assistants like what would happen to him.

“No, that’s not really how I do it. Greg (McElroy) knows about those,” Kiffin said, laughing. “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 would describe those situations as “an ass-chewing.”

Kiffin’s comments come on the heels of him admitting, when asked if he had fun at Alabama, Kiffin said “Yes and no,” citing family difficulties. Coaching under Saban isn’t for everyone, but Kiffin continued to speak positive of Saban when asked which coach he learned from the most about interacting with people.

“That’s kind of a tie with Pete Carroll and Nick Saban, taking stuff from two of the best coaches in the history of football and being both of their offensive coordinators for national championships,” he said. “There are many great things they both do. I’m in a better position to be a head coach because of them, especially those three years and what I learned under Coach Saban.”

As for FAU, Kiffin isn’t taking offensive coordinating duties this time, instead handing it off to Kendal Briles. It’s been a different experience for sure, and he hopes to get consistent winning results this time.

Practice is boring, actually. I’ve learned that. A lot of standing around,” he said. “You’re not calling plays, running around adjusting everybody. It is different. But I thought it was important to do. Looking back as a head coach, we had great offenses, but I could have run the program better with all the time that’s freed up, being able to deal with defense, special teams, donors, university things, player relations.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to