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Lane Kiffin Had Coaching Deal In Place Before Negotiations ‘Went Sideways’

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Lane Kiffin and one unnamed school were reportedly close to striking a deal, but the negotiations fell through late Friday.


Lane Kiffin was nearly a head coach late Friday night, but as of Saturday morning he remains Alabama’s offensive coordinator after negotiations “went sideways” regarding the deal in place, according to Kirk Herbstreit.

“Lane Kiffin as of yesterday was very very close to becoming a head coach with a school, and late last night that deal went sideways for now,” Herbstreit said on College GameDay. “I know late last night negotiations broke down, so you gotta assume he’s back in play, whether it’s Alabama continuing to be the offensive coordinator there, LSU, everybody speculating about Coach O and the amount of money they could pay him to go to Baton Rouge, maybe even a UCLA could be out there as an offensive coordinator … The school definitely wanted him, and something happened, no idea what it was.”

Kiffin’s name has been attached to multiple head coaching openings, first at Houston, then South Florida, and the latest being Florida Atlantic.

The Cougars promoted from within on Friday, hiring offensive coordinator Major Applewhite as their new head coach. Houston board of regents chairman Tilman Feritta said in an interview on Friday night that Kiffin “was no closer than anybody else” and that “those [reports] are all put out by his agents, because that’s they way they play the game.”

One bit of speculation regarding Kiffin and not striking a deal with Houston is that the Cougars wanted too substantial of a buyout clause to prohibit the next head coach from using the program as a quick stepping stone to a bigger gig – as was the case with Tom Herman, and before him Kevin Sumlin and Art Briles.

Following news of Applewhite’s hire by Houston, Football Scoop reported on Friday afternoon that Kiffin and FAU were in talks. The Owls are looking to replace Charlie Partridge, whom they fired after a 3-9 campaign this season.

Ross Dellenger of The Advocate reports that LSU “feels strongly that Kiffin will leave Alabama and join the Tigers staff if he does not get a head coaching job this offseason.”

If a head coaching position is not in the cards this year, and with his stock soaring, it’s hard to imagine Kiffin leaving Tuscaloosa for another offensive coordinator position. He’s got a superstar freshman quarterback under his watch in Jalen Hurts, and the insurance of Nick Saban as the Crimson Tide’s head coach. The Crimson Tide offense isn’t going anywhere, and the coaching carousel will turn his way next season should he choose to stay put at Alabama.

MORE: Former Alabama Star Says Ohio State ‘Cheap Shotted’ Alabama In Playoff

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