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Lane Kiffin Would Be a Home Run Hire For Anyone Willing to Take the Chance

© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The ‘Lane Train’ has seen itself taking pit stops all throughout America over the last decade. Be it Knoxville, LA, Tuscaloosa, or Boca Raton, Lane Kiffin’s spotlight has nearly earned him a place amongst reality TV’s greats. In today’s age of memes, fan forums, and social media posts the 42-year-old’s online prowess should be seen as more of a recruiting tool than a PR disaster. No, his personality style did not match that of Saban’s, but he has proven to be a talented football coach, regardless. Look past your personal grievances of Lane Kiffin’s past actions, statements, or decisions and remember this fact while reading the rest of the article: kids want to play for Lane Kiffin. That is, and will probably always be, what makes Kiffin such an intricate coaching candidate and a huge reason for some of his successes.

Despite what you may read floating on the internet, Kiffin’s head coaching record is actually pretty impressive. He holds a record of 44-24 between UT, USC, and FAU. His time at the former two schools were marred with immature decisions like ditching Tennessee for the Trojans and then, of course, the infamous tarmac firing. Though he still maintains his ‘trolling’ sense of humor, the years spent at Alabama truly may have helped him understand how the cogs should turn. That has shown in what he has been able to do this year.

The Florida Atlantic Owls finished the 2016 season with a pungent 3-9 record just as they did in 2014 and 2015, too. Enter Lane Kiffin, fresh off back-to-back national championship games (though he did not coach one of them), and ready to retry the whole head coaching thing. It started a little rocky with the strangely unenthusiastic recruiting video but quickly turned into a tremendous hire. No turnaround season needed, Kiffin turned in the best season the Owls have had since 2004, going undefeated (8-0) in conference play and posting an overall record of 9-3. Nearly an unprecedented act at a non-Power 5 school – except for this year’s undefeated UCF team, that is.

While many teams will turn away from Kiffin because of his sometimes outlandish comments and overly-eccentric style, whichever team decides to give him a chance will find that these things are a powerful recruiting tool in how he is able to connect with targeted players. The coaching carousel is in full effect at this point, and as coaches move from point A to point B, schools’ options will become limited. At some point, one is bound to give Kiffin another shot at the big leagues, and I fully expect him to take advantage of it.

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