Lane Kiffin wanted to be a head coach pretty badly.
That much is clear after a report from ESPN’s Chris Low surfaced on Monday afternoon indicating Kiffin was in for a decrease in salary from his move from Alabama offensive coordinator to Florida Atlantic head coach.
According to Low, Kiffin will have an approximate annual salary in the $1 million range at FAU. He was making $1.4 million as the offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide in 2016.
Kiffin was making $1.4 million at Alabama. His annual salary at FAU will be closer to $1 million and could increase with bonuses etc.
— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) December 12, 2016
While it’s not surprising that Kiffin had to take a pay cut for the Conference USA job, it does shine a light on the financial decision he may have been facing when deciding between FAU and the LSU offensive coordinator job alongside Ed Orgeron, which he was rumored to be interested in taking.
Kiffin was not under contract for the 2017 season with Alabama, so it is not fair to say that he willingly took less money by accepting the FAU job, because there was no guarantee that he would have been invited back to the Crimson Tide offensive coordinator role at his same salary next season.
According to FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman, Kiffin was in line to make as much as double his reported FAU salary if he had chosen the LSU offensive coordinator job. But if Kiffin wants to be a Power 5 head coach again, he likely saw the FAU job as a better opportunity to sell himself as a viable option in the coming seasons.
Some are shocked Lane Kiffin took FAU>At this pt, reality is best way for him show he can run an FBS program is to take one-even a small one
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 12, 2016
Details are likely to emerge in the coming days on the bonuses that could be included in Kiffin’s contract, which could potentially make it a more lucrative opportunity than the one he had at Alabama.
Another detail to watch for is the buyout language in Kiffin’s new contract. It may determine how long Kiffin’s stay in Boca Raton will be if he has early success with the Owls.