'Outside of winning, were you happy at Alabama?' Lane Kiffin responds

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday March 20, 2017

Lane Kiffin joined The Dan Le Batard Show on Monday morning, and after some playful questions to open, Le Batard asked a pointed one.

Outside of winning, was Lane Kiffin happy at Alabama?

“Yes and no,” Kiffin said. “I had a unique situation where, for the first time, my family didn’t come with me — my kids and wife. That made it, outside of the football part, not as much fun, because they were across the country.

It would have been more enjoyable had they come and I continued a normal lifestyle, versus just going there to dive into football and learn from Coach Saban and win a bunch of games and have a blast on the field like we did. We went 40-3, so it was a good time.”

Kiffin had a somewhat high-profile divorce while working as Alabama’s offensive coordinator. Some December comments to Sports Illustrated about money didn’t help his image, especially after Nick Saban essentially decided he didn’t want Kiffin to coach in the national title game after taking the FAU head coaching job.

There’s no doubt working with Saban is a grind like no other in coaching. Asked if his three years aged him, Kiffin laughed and said, “I already got in trouble for that statement one time."

He added, “When I called it the equivalent to coaching in dog years, I’m not going to repeat that again. I thought it was kind of funny at the time, but I guess not. … Everybody laughed at the time, but then someone doesn’t like it when you go back to work.”

There were reports that Kiffin wouldn’t return as Alabama offensive coordinator whether or not he got the FAU job. Kiffin has denied that. Ed Orgeron had interest in him as LSU offensive coordinator, but Kiffin took the FAU job and what is a sizable paycut.

Kiffin will make around $950,000 at FAU. He made $1.4 million at Alabama, and new LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada will make around $1.5 million. Did Kiffin think about that paycut?

“I didn’t,” he said. “As you get older and learn things, it’s not about chasing the bigger job or more money that a lot of us grow up thinking that’s what you do. 'How fast can you move, take this job no matter what, bigger, better, more money.' As you get older, you realize there’s a lot more to it than that.

“There’s not one day I wake up in Boca, drive to work here with this great staff and players — and living in Boca — that I think, ‘Oh man, I’m making less money.’ I think what an awesome job I have, a great staff, and I’m thankful to the people that brought us 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.