FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas could be closing in on a coaching hire after reportedly spending approximately four hours on Sunday meeting with Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin in Boca Raton.
Kiffin has coached FAU to a 9-3 mark and spot in the Conference USA Championship Game. If hired Kiffin would bring a vast amount of experience at various levels to Arkansas.
He was head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2007-08 and then held same position at University of Tennessee in 2009. He left Knoxville after one year for USC where he coached from 2010-13. He was offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama from 2014-16 and coached the quarterbacks. He has been head coach at FAU since the 2017 season and compiled records of 11-3 in 2017 and 5-7 in 2018 before leading to the East title this season. They will play UAB on Saturday in the championship game.
Kiffin was 5-15 with the Raiders, 7-6 at Tennessee and then 28-15 at USC with reduced scholarships. His record at FAU is 25-13 and includes two East championships in three seasons.
Kiffin actually lived in Fayetteville from 1977-79 when his father was defensive coordinator for Lou Holtz. The younger Kiffin was born on May 9, 1975, in Lincoln, Neb.
Kiffin is known for his development of quarterbacks and offensive mind. His tight end, Harrison Bryant, is a finalist for the Mackey Award. Bryant had three catches for 75 yards and a trio of touchdowns on Saturday in the 34-17 win over Southern Miss.
At Arkansas, Kiffin will be given the money to hire a very capable staff. One former member of his staff at FAU, Kendal Briles, could be reunited with Kiffin at Arkansas. Briles spent this past season at Florida State. He is considered a great recruiter with extensive ties to The Lone Star State. Briles played at Texas and Houston. He has been an assistant at both Baylor and Houston. He was the offensive coordinator for the Owls and Kiffin 2017 when they went 11-3. They beat Akron 50-3 in the Boca Raton Bowl.
Kiffin’s defensive line coach at FAU is Lance Thompson, who coached with him at Alabama. Thompson, likewise, is considered an elite recruiter.
Hunter Yurachek and Jon Fagg are leading the Arkansas coaching search just as they did for basketball.