Lane Kiffin. First of all, great name. It’s kinda funny just saying it. Then you get to his visors with that little poof of hair sticking up and the fact that he always seems to be squinting at the sun, and you realize Lane Kiffin is funny before he ever even says anything, or is left behind by a team bus. or is subtweeting a former employer.
He is just one of those people. For the most part that’s not a problem, but in the world of football coaching it’s an act of rebellion just to be one’s authentic self in front of the public. This is largely the fault of the public for overreacting to everything, which is why we’ve all got to come together and make sure we don’t ruin Lane Kiffin. Because with the public’s encouragement, we can have a whole sport full of interesting men who take their jobs seriously but not too seriously.
It’s a pretty serious breach of traditional coaching norms to comment, even playfully, about coaching openings at other schools. But why? Kiffin doesn’t seem to see the problem, and watching him do this day after day on Twitter reveals there really isn’t one.
He’s gone so far as to joke with his players at Florida Atlantic about his potential candidacy for other jobs.
A few days ago, Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin thought he would have a little fun with the players.
He was tardy to a recent team meeting, so Kiffin couldn’t help but take advantage of the situation when offering his excuse.
“I told them,’Sorry, I was on the phone with Tennessee,’ ” Kiffin said, joking. “That’s just kind of how we are.”
Kiffin has in the past been accused of immaturity, which is an amusing charge against someone who plays games with college kids for a living. There’s nothing wrong with maturity, obviously. There’s nothing wrong with being Nick Saban either, and, say what you will about him, it certainly doesn’t seem like Saban is pretending to be a humorless grouch.
It’s just that the traditional thinking is that you must be this way, or suffer the consequences on the field, and I’m not convinced the coach’s demeanor has much to do with winning at all.
Florida Atlantic’s players don’t seem to have been bothered by it all, having just improved to 10-3 with a blowout over North Texas. It’s FAU’s best season since 2003, when it was in what was then known as Division I-AA (FCS). And I already know what people will say. Oh, sure, you can be like that at FAU but that’s not gonna fly at a traditional power.
And that’s probably true. But there’s no reason it has to be.