Lane Kiffin completes coaching staff at Florida Atlantic

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday February 19, 2017


Lane Kiffin has completed his staff at FAU.

It was a messy end for Kiffin at Alabama, parting ways ahead of the national title game, but Kiffin got a staff together and brought in the highest-ranked recruiting class in Conference USA earlier this month.

Kiffin takes over an FAU program that has gone 3-9 in three straight years and brings back most of the starting lineup on both sides this season. Kiffin’s staff is a mix of Alabama and family ties and other younger coaches.

One of Kiffin’s first hires was a controversial one in offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, who not only comes from Baylor after the sexual assault scandal, but has been named in lawsuits and is Art Briles’ son. Kiffin has said Kendal Briles was vetted and has stood by the hire.

Kiffin turned to his coaching family for another early hire in defensive coordinator Chris Kiffin, his brother. Chris Kiffin spent the last five years as Ole Miss defensive line coach, developing some of the best defensive lines in the country. Safeties coach / special teams coordinator Corey Batoon also followed Chris Kiffin from Ole Miss after he was set to move to an off-field role there.

Lane Kiffin brought two coaches with him from Alabama in tight ends coach Charlie Weis Jr. and head strength coach Wilson Love. Weis spent two years as an analyst with the Tide. However, he left for a position with the Atlanta Falcons in February, and his spot was filled by Clint Trickett, who spent the last two years as East Mississippi CC's quarterbacks coach and had joined Alabama as a graduate assistant just a few weeks ago.

A former Kiffin assistant at USC, Keynodo Hudson joined FAU as cornerbacks coach after six years as a defensive administrative assistant at USC. Hudson was previously a high school coach in Florida when Kiffin hired him at USC in 2011.

Kiffin made several other hires with ties to the state. Defensive line coach Eric Mathies spent the last four years at South Florida. Running backs coach Kevin Smith has only been in coaching for a few years, working as an intern and quality control assistant UCF, his alma mater. Smith is from Miami. Wide receivers coach Gary Harrell is a Miami native and spent the last six years as the head coach at Howard.

Offensive line coach Garin Justice was the only coach retained from the previous staff. Justice dealt with massive injuries to the line in his first season, with 6 guys lost for the season and 9 who missed at least one game.

The Kiffin era at FAU begins with games against Navy, at Wisconsin and Bethune-Cookman.

The potential addition of a 10th assistant could change things, but keep track of new FBS staffs here.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 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 chris@coachingsearch.com.