Lane Kiffin ‘not really big on humiliating assistant coaches’
Lane Kiffin spent three years on Nick Saban’s staff as offensive coordinator of the Alabama Crimson Tide. While the new Florida Atlantic Owls head coach obviously learned a thing or two from Saban, Kiffin seems to not agree with his former boss’ habit of “humiliating assistant coaches.”
Kiffin famously and publicly was on the receiving end of several Saban tirades during his tenure with the Tide. And while Kiffin recently avoided criticizing Saban directly for his methods, he made it clear it’s not how he runs a coaching staff.
“Those things come up, and everybody has different ways of dealing with them,” Kiffin said during a recent appearance on SiriusXM College Sports Nation. “It’s just not really how I do it. I’m not really big on humiliating assistant coaches in front of everybody. I write down notes. In the staff meeting, I explain what we want to get done.”
For what it’s worth, Saban doesn’t refer to the dressing-down of his assistants as “humiliating” them. He instead once colorfully called the outbursts “a– chewings,” which is how the Alabama head coach characterized a heated sideline confrontation with Kiffin during an eventual victory over Western Kentucky last season.
Kiffin’s discussion of differing coaching styles interestingly comes on the heels of a former Alabama player admitting the defensive unit routinely and purposely tried to foster situations where Saban would go off on Kiffin during practice.
Former Crimson Tide defensive lineman and NFL prospect Jonathan Allen said the defense would “try to get Coach Saban mad at [Kiffin] and try to get him yelled at in practice.”
“It was just during (drills),” Allen recalled, via Saturday Down South. “We would just try to blow it up and just destroy it and kill the offense and then you would know Kiffin’s just…gonna get it, after you just blow it up in the backfield. That’s probably the most fun we had at Alabama during practice this year, just watching Coach Saban lay into Kiffin.”
If that was the case, it’s no surprise things ended so badly for the Saban-Kiffin partnership.