He is 32A now, and there’s no getting around it. His days of flying first class—of no expense spared and no excuses made or given—are way back there, sir.
“Seat 32A,” Lane Kiffin says. “How about that?”
The obvious question: What was it like?
“About what you’d think.”
A few rungs down from what he’s used to.
The new head coach of Florida Atlantic University is having to get used to it, though.
Kiffin recounted the cramped coach-class flight at Conference USA media day in Dallas in front of a media scrum of, oh, say, eight reporters. If his seat on the flight was a long, lonely walk from first class, so too is coaching tiny FAU from being the youngest head coach in modern NFL history with the then-Oakland Raiders, from head coaching college blue bloods Tennessee and USC, from being Nick Saban‘s right-hand man at Alabama.
The past decade has been a frenzied, convoluted ride—an unthinkable and improbable career line of unimaginable highs and self-destructive lows—for Kiffin. A coaching life equal parts charmed and jaded pushing him further and further to the back of the line and into reality’s cold embrace.
Long story short: fired, left for another job, fired, fired. And now here he is, coaching the last FBS school that would have him as head coach.
“If I don’t make it here,” Kiffin says, “I guess I’m just a play-caller.”
He knows this is it. His last chance as a head…Read More