New Owls Head Football Coach Lane Kiffin is still leading the Alabama offense, but spoke a lot about FAU at today's Peach Bowl press conference. Included were responses to questions about working double-duty presently, recruiting, new offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, amongst other topics. Below is some of what he had to offer during the session.
Q. Lane, when it comes to you double-dipping, so to speak, having two jobs at once, how has that process gone for you, finishing up recruiting, junior college signing day, building up a staff? How important was it for you to show your current employer, your future employer, potential employers down the road that you can handle that kind of responsibility?
LANE KIFFIN: "I think the first part of it, there are time issues of managing both jobs. Luckily, we are in a dead period, and when I was hired there, it was at the end of the live period. So I think it would have been more difficult had we taken the job maybe a week before, you know, to try to balance both because you're on the road recruiting. Where, now, obviously, in the dead period, we can't be.
It was important to get a few guys, especially to hire a defensive coordinator as soon as I could to get someone in place there. Chris Kiffin has been there, been able to evaluate all of our players, recruits, start recruiting over the phone and then help interview defensive coaches. So that helped me a lot time-wise. And then we've been kind of working on offensive coaches in our spare time over the last week."
Q. Along those lines, Lane, do you just do the FAU work at night? Is it pretty much the same day, or are your days pretty much structured like that all the time?
LANE KIFFIN: "I've communicated with Coach. We went over the schedule to kind of find some time where maybe there were some Bowl events that he didn't need me at so I could spend that time, whether it was on the phone or flying coaches in here to interview coaches while we're here. And usually that time's at night."
Q. Lane, just how important was it for you to become a head coach again?
LANE KIFFIN: "It wasn't. This was, I know – you know, when I was down at the press conference, a lot of the questions were about that. It seemed like, okay, he just took a head job because he wanted to be a head coach or it wasn't working at Alabama.
When I went in there [FAU] and I met with the president, the athletic director and the three main decision makers, I went into the interview saying, okay, you know, you always want to go through the interview process with different places because you learn and you never know. Those people may be somewhere else five years from now, so you may impress them in the interview, even if it's a job you're not going to take.
I came into that room not really knowing and I came out of that room saying, okay, I really want that job. They're committed to doing things different than they've done before and they really want to win championships and do everything that it takes to do that."
Q. Lane, a lot of people thought that everyone at Baylor was radioactive. Why were you willing to hire Kendal Briles and do you anticipate that Art will be around the program at all helping him? He's obviously played a big role in teaching Kendal.
LANE KIFFIN: "Hiring Kendal was a long process that we went through. We checked out a lot of things through our university and communicating with people there, so we feel very comfortable with Kendal's situation. Had a good game last night. He'll be flying here today to help interview guys.
So as far as the other stuff, that's not really what this is about today with Art, but we have a plan with that, and we'll discuss that when we get down there. Thank you."
Q. Coach, surely you know about your Twitter fame. How much thought goes into your tweets before you hit the tweet button, and does that change now that you're a head coach at FAU?
LANE KIFFIN: "That's a good question. I haven't thought about that yet. A lot of on my Twitter, what happens is you have people that help you with your Twitter when you're a coach.
So I don't have that nailed yet, when I get down there. I do think that it was important what some of the stuff that was done at Alabama to help recruiting and with the rules changing about contact and what you can retweet and what you can post. And the way kids are nowadays, kids don't want to answer phones, talk on the phone.
So a lot of that stuff is aimed at two things. Aimed at recruits and aimed at the fan base of where you're at. So if you kind of follow the stuff in general, what happened? Well, the Alabama fans really like it. Recruits read it, current players like it and then fans of every other team don't like it. So there's good and bad."
Kiffin's first day as Florida Atlantic's coach in full operating capacity will be immediately following the conclusion of Alabama's 2016 post-season.