Florida Atlantic pursuing Alabama OC Lane Kiffin as head coach

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is being pursued by Florida Atlantic to become the Owls' next head coach.

Kiffin and the Owls have had discussions, and Kiffin is weighing his options, sources told ESPN's Chris Low on Friday.

FAU's interest in Kiffin was first reported by Football Scoop.

Kiffin has been the offensivecoordinator at Alabama for three seasons, including 2016, helping the Crimson Tide win last season's national championship and get back to the College Football Playoff with the No. 1 ranking this year.

He has been frequently mentioned for other jobs, and the former USC, Tennessee andOakland Raidershead coach was believed to be a candidate for the now-filled head-coaching openings at Oregon and Houston in recent days.

Alabama coach Nick Saban recently acknowledged he wants to help Kiffin get a chance to lead a program again.

"We've had conversations about it," Saban said. "He wants to be a head coach. I want him to be a head coach. I want to help him get a head-coaching job.

"The rest of it, we have not discussed, and I don't think it's the right time."

Landing Kiffin would be a major coup for FAU, which fired Charlie Partridge last month after going 3-9 in each of the last three seasons. The Owls haven't been to a bowl game since making back-to-back appearances under Howard Schnellenberger in 2007 and 2008.

Since those bowl years, FAU is 28-67.

Even being in the conversation with Kiffin means FAU is willing to make a serious salary upgrade. Partridge had two years left on what was a five-year, $2.7 million deal with FAU. Kiffin is making $1.4 million this season at Alabama.

Kiffin lasted 20 games with the Raiders in 2007 and 2008, going 5-15. In 2009, his lone season at Tennessee, he was 7-6. And he went 28-15 in three-plus seasons at USC, getting fired after five games of the 2013 season.

He went to Alabama the following year and has been an annual fixture in coaching-opening whispers since.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.