Still No Signed Lane Kiffin Extension for FAU

Tweet from FAU Coach Lane Kiffin: https://twitter.com/Lane_Kiffin/status/943178921499090950

On December 19, 2017, football coach Lane Kiffin announced that he had reached an agreement with FAU for a 10-year contract extension. The extension still hasn’t been signed, according to FAU.

The same day the agreement was announced we submitted a public records request to FAU for a copy of the new contract. The immediate response, the next day, was that the contract had not been signed yet and would be forwarded to us when it was.

We followed up a few weeks later and were told:

Coach Kiffin’s extension is an agreement in principle and the written details are still being worked out. I will be provided a copy of the new contract when it is completed.

So we waited. Yesterday we asked again and an exchange of e-mails revealed that Coach Kiffin’s extension has not been signed, and that he is still working under the terms of the previous contract.

[T]here is no written contract yet with the extension. Coach Kiffin is still employed under the terms of his existing contract. He and the AD and President reached an agreement in principle on a ten-year extension, which is what he tweeted about. That verbal agreement in principle has not yet been reduced to a written contract.

This matters because some in college football think Lane Kiffin’s stay at FAU is only temporary until he lands a deal with a bigger football school.

From ESPN:

Since his coaching career began in 1997 as an assistant at Fresno State, Kiffin’s longest stop at one place was six seasons as an assistant at USC from 2001 to 2006. As a head coach, his longest stop also was at USC, where he was fired five games into his fourth season.

One would expect that the contract extension would make it harder for Kiffin to leave FAU. If it hasn’t been signed, that means he’s still relatively free to leave for somewhere else.

We would like to hope that Kiffin is here in Boca for the long haul. He’s a great coach and we’d love to see FAU continue to improve. But the lack of a signed extension suggests that he may still be waiting to see if a new opportunity comes up.

We reached out directly to Kiffin and to FAU Football but neither has responded.

Boca High Grad Killed in Motorcycle Accident

Seth Dierksen
Seth Dierksen

An early morning motorcycle accident on Spanish River Blvd claimed the life of Boca High graduate Seth Dierksen, age 22. From the report it appears to have been near the entrance to the FAU campus at roughly 4 am this morning.


From the Boca Raton Police Department:
Officers with the Boca Raton Police Department’s Traffic Homicide Unit are investigating a fatal crash, which happened this morning at 3:57 a.m., in the 800 block of NW Spanish River Boulevard.
The operator of a 2011 Kawasaki motorcycle was traveling east on NW Spanish River Boulevard when he collided with a 2007 International 18-wheeler truck. The operator of the motorcycle died at the scene.
If you have information about this crash, please call Traffic Homicide Investigator Michael Daly at (561) 620-6081.
2011 Kawasaki Motorcycle:
Seth Clayton Dierksen
22 years old
Boca Raton, FL
Injury: Fatal
2007 International Truck:
William Grinslade
43 years old
Winter Haven, FL
Injury: None

6 FAU Owls Drafted by MLB

By: Benjamin Schiller, a student at Logger’s Run Middle School
Now that the 2015 MLB First Year Player Draft has concluded, six former FAU Owls heard their names called on Day 2 and as well Day 3. The six FAU graduates include offensive weapons Brendon Sanger, Roman Collins, and Billy Endris, along with pitching studs Drew Jackson, Kyle Miller, and Seth McGarry.

Brendon Sanger
Brendon Sanger

The first of the six who were drafted was Right Fielder Brendon Sanger. The 21 year old went 135th overall to the LA Angels in the fourth round. The 160th overall draft prospect, according to MLB.com, stands at 6’0” and weighs 190 pounds. The new Halo bats left and throws right.
The 2015 Conference USA Player of the Year, just finished his junior year at FAU and he started all of the games this season for FAU. Sanger played impressively, batting .370, coming in second in the league with 57 runs as well as 85 hits, third with four triples, and seventh with 48 RBI’s. He finishes his college and Owl career, becoming Florida Atlantic’s all-time triples leader with 10.
Roman Collins
Roman Collins

Next on the list is Outfielder Roman Collins, who was drafted by the Kansas City Royals at 159th overall in the fifth round. The 21 year old, stands at 6’2”, weighs 205 pounds, bats left, and throws left.
This kid can hit as he had a batting average of .296, scoring 44 runs, while driving in 53. In 216 at bats, the Maple Grove, MN native had 33 walks, 64 hits, with 23 of them being extra base hits. Within the 23 extra base hits, 12 of them were doubles, 5 were triples, and 6 of them round-trippers. Also, Collins successfully stole a base four out of seven times. If he reaches his potential, he can become a 5-tool player. The college junior ran 60 yards in 6.65 seconds.
Later Tuesday afternoon, Florida Atlantic’s star reliever, Seth McGarry was drafted in the 8th round, 247th overall, by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bradenton resident stands at 6’1”, weighing 180 pounds.
McGarry is a right handed pitcher who posted dominant numbers with the Owls this season, posting a 2.43 era, a 4 – 1 record, and 5 saves, in his 20 appearances this spring. To add to his season totals, he pitched 37 innings, with 33 punch outs and 13 walks. It’s a coincidence that the Pirates play in Bradenton for spring training and their High A farm team plays in Bradenton throughout the season.
Draft Day 3
Pitcher Kyle Miller was drafted Wednesday at 563rd overall in the 19th round by the Chicago Cubs. The 21 year old stands at 6’1”, weighing at 165 pounds. The righty starter posted a 3.77 era, a 6 – 3 record, in 15 starts. The Fort Myers native pitched 76.1 innings, striking out 59, while walking 17.
The fifth Owl drafted was another right-handed starter, Drew Jackson, in the 35th round by the reigning World Series Champs, the San Francisco Giants. The 22 year old stands at 6’3”, weighing 180 pounds. The Naples native was dominant this season and it was sure a surprise he fell all the way to the 35th round. The FAU grad posted a 2.10 era, 6–3 record, 1 complete game, in 68.2 innings, with 52 strike outs and 15 walks, in 12 starts.
The last FAU player drafted was Billy Endris who fell to the Kansas City Royals in the 39th round, joining Roman Collins. The Tampa native stands at 6’2”, weighing 185 pounds. The FAU junior batted .300, in 37 games, with 18 hits and 11 walks in only 60 at bats. He had two doubles with three triples, along with 6 steals. The new Royal had 8 RBI’s, while scoring 15 times.
Note: These stats are from this season (2015), excluding NCAA regionals.

Bands Perform at FAU: West Boca, Spanish River, Loggers Run & Omni

Eleven school bands performed today at the Ninth Annual FAU Concert Band Festival. Several local schools participated, and we caught four of their performances, below.
If anyone wants to share video of Boca Middle or Boca High, please e-mail us at warren@westbocanews.com.
The first band we saw was West Boca High:
west-boca-high-fau
Here they are in video and audio, with band director Larry Shane conducting. Mr. Shane informs us this was the “Symphonic Band” and also sent us another video of the Wind Ensemble, which is at bottom.

Next up we saw Spanish River High with director Craig White.
spanish-river-fau

Then came Loggers’ Run Middle School and director Craig Denny.
loggers-fau

And the last one we saw was Omni Middle School with William Castillo directing.
omni-fau


From West Boca High’s Mr. Shane, here is the Wind Ensemble:

Boca Raton Bowl Report

Benjamin Schiller wrote this article. Ben is an aspiring sports journalist and a student at a middle school in West Boca.
Yesterday was the first ever Boca Raton Bowl game. The two colleges that matched up against each over were the Northern Illinois Huskies versus the Marshall Thundering Herd. FAU Stadium hosted the bowl game.
boca-bowl-shirt
The Boca Bowl fan fest started at 3:00 PM. There were tons of activities. They had obstacle courses and games for kids and some adults. They also had a merchandise stand and plenty of tents. Some tents were giving away mini footballs and free drinks. The attendees really enjoyed themselves, this reporter included.

"FAUStadium night" by Jerseydem
“FAUStadium night” by Jerseydem

Then, the gates opened around 4:30. There were not a lot of people in the stadium yet because many were still enjoying their fan fest experiences or in traffic. We sat in the end zone. Marshall’s Kicker was practicing field goals. There is no net behind the goal post. Since there was no one there yet, we chased the footballs.
At 5:45 they started to do the regular sporting event ritual. Navy Seals flew into the stadium with parachutes. They honored Howard Schnellenberger, whom the field is named after. Schnellenberger (80) was the FAU coach until 2011, and had a substantial coaching career including a national championship at University of Miami.
Howard Schnellenberger
Howard Schnellenberger by MerlinsMagic

Opera singer and West Palm Beach native Madison Marie Mcintosh performed the National Anthem as the Navy Seals unraveled the 300 foot flag. Mayor Susan Haney and Coach Schnellenberger did the coin toss at mid-field. NIU elected to receive the opening kick.
Then it was game time. The first score ever in the Boca bowl happened mid way through the quarter. QB Drew Hare of NIU threw to Juwan Brescacin for a 19 yard touchdown to put the Huskies of up on top. Then, on the very next play, Deandre Reaves of Marshall tied the game by returning the kick for a 93 yard Touchdown along with the extra point that was kicked into the crowd behind the goal post. The Marshall fans were loud and cheerful.
Four minutes later, Marshall’s QB Rakeem Cato ran the ball into the end zone for five yards to make the score 14-7. Cato earlier in the season was talked as a potential Heisman Candidate and he is projected to be drafted in the upcoming NFL draft in the spring.
Rakeem Cato - "Cato12" by LetsGoHerd - Own work. Via Wikipedia
Rakeem Cato – “Cato12” by LetsGoHerd

Now let’s fast forward to the second quarter. After Marshall and NIU made one field goal each the score was 17-10 (Herd). Then with about five minutes left before halftime, Devon Johnson of Marshall ran the ball for a two yard touchdown with an extra point. Seconds before halftime Christian Hagan of NIU, made a 30 yard field goal as time expired.
The score at half was 24-13 (Marshall). Both colleges’ marching bands performed on the field. The lines at the concession stands were packed. It probably would have taken you 20 minutes just to get a hamburger and fries. Good thing we ate at the Mississippi Sweets stand pregame by section 129. The pulled pork sandwich with BBQ sauce is excellent. They also had no line at halftime.
In the third quarter NIU decided to kick an onside kick and successfully recovered it. Mid-way through the quarter Marshall’s WR Tommy Shuler caught a 6 yard pass from Cato for the touchdown. The Marshall fans screamed “Shoo” for Shuler, which sounded a bit like “Boo.”
Then after a score for Marshall and NIU, the score at the end of the quarter was 38-20 (Herd). That was when tons of spectators decided to go home with the doubt that NIU wasn’t going to come back by three touchdowns.
Within a few seconds in the beginning of the fourth quarter Deon-Tay McManus of Marshall caught a 27 yard touchdown pass from Rakeem Cato. Then after an NIU field goal and a Marshall Touchdown, the game was over. The final score was 52-23. Marshall was the victor in this contest.
Here are some stats from Marshall:
QB Rakeem Cato- 25/37, 281 pass yards, 3 pass touchdowns, 2 rushing Touchdowns, and 25 rushing yards.
RB Devon Johnson- 131 rushing yards with 1 touchdown
WR Tommy Shuler- 185 receiving yards with 1 touchdown
K Justin Haig 1/1 field goals and 7/7 extra points
Northern Illinois stats:
QB Drew Hare- 15/27, 225 passing yards, 50 rushing yards, 3 passing touchdowns.
RB Cameron Stingily- 76 rushing yards and 1 touchdown
WR Juwan Brescacin- 40 receiving yards and 1 touchdown
K Christian Hagan- 3/4 field goals and 2/2 extra points

Boca Raton Bowl Coming to FAU

Benjamin Schiller contributed this article. Ben is an aspiring sports journalist and a student at a middle school in West Boca.
Get ready Boca Raton for some college football bowl action! Florida Atlantic University Stadium (Home of the FAU Owls) on Fau Boulevard and N. University Dr. is where the new Boca Bowl will be hosted. The kickoff for the inaugural bowl game is set for 6 PM on December 23, 2014.
fau-stadium
FAUStadium night” by JerseydemOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Many sports fanatics like myself are excited about the bowl game. Palm Beach County has agreed to spend $140,000 for six years. ESPN will be broadcasting this annual game live. Also look out for some television ads. The college football teams have not yet been announced because the season has not yet ended. The two selected colleges will be from either Conference USA, the Mid-America Conference (MAC) or the American Athlete Conference (AAC).
Ticket prices to the inaugural game will range from $27.60-$48.15 via Ticketmaster. In my opinion, it will be worth attending.
FAU Stadium is absolutely beautiful. The 30,000 seat stadium opened up three years ago. I went to an Owl’s game last year and it was my first time visiting the stadium. I remember walking into the new stadium and amazed at what I saw. It was clean and I enjoyed the food and the game. The ushers were really nice and seemed to know what they were doing. So, if you have a chance to go to an Owl game, just know you and your family or friends will have a great experience.
Come out to cheer on the Owl’s as they will play their last home game on November 29 against Old Dominion. If you can’t go, come to the Boca Bowl or to a 2015 game.
Now you know you don’t have to drive to Sunlife Stadium or even yes, Marlins Park to watch upcoming bowl games.
So Boca, who’s ready for some college football? I sure am.

Venezuela Demonstration in West Boca

This afternoon dozens of West Boca residents gathered on the southwest corner of 441 and Glades in a demonstration related to the current unrest in Venezuela.
Woman with sign: Pray for Venezuela
Large demonstrations began in Miami roughly four days ago, covered yesterday by NBC Miami. Certain areas of South Florida are known for having large Venezuelan populations, especially Weston (jokingly referred to as Westonzuela). Boca Raton is better known for its large Jewish population. West Boca has prominent Brazilian and Colombian communities. Apparently Venezuelans are growing here, as shown by today’s demonstration. However, it’s too soon to call it Bocazuela.

We talked to several of them. This demonstration was led by students, both from the local high schools (one mentioned Spanish River) as well as area colleges including FAU. They were emphatic about the government murdering and raping people as well as the lack of press freedom. A few noted that they enjoy much greater freedom here in the US, as evidenced by today’s protest.
venez-shadows2
We asked why they were doing this in West Boca, and why now. The timing results from the protests in Miami and recent events in Venezuela. And they’re doing this in West Boca because it’s difficult for many of them to get to Miami, and because they feel it’s important to spread the word to a larger audience. A larger demonstration will take place tomorrow (Tuesday) at the FAU main entrance at 4 pm.
venez-4
Several seemed unaware who their congressman was. Congressman Ted Deutch lives roughly two miles away, near West Boca High. Having heard the name, one young man indicated he was involved with some kind of student caucus connected with Deutch. He hadn’t thought to contact the congressman but said he would reach out to him now.
venez-back
It will be interesting to see if Deutch says or does anything. A search of the Deutch page on house.gov reveals zero results about “Maduro” (Nicolas Maduro is the current leader of Venezuela), zero about “Chavez” (Hugo Chavez was the previous leader) and nothing meaningful about “Venezuela.” Deutch is known for being staunchly pro-Israel but it’s unclear if he has any guiding principles to his foreign policy views or how they might apply to what’s going on in Venezuela now.
venez-2
The Palm Beach Sheriff had a noticeable presence with three deputies. They told us they noticed the gathering during a routine patrol and were not sent because of any calls. They expressed their support for the right of citizens to demonstrate and were focused on making sure they were able to do so in a peaceful fashion. The deputies kept their distance and were polite.
venez-boca-police
We were alerted to the event around 4 pm. The photos were taken by this article’s author before 5 pm. We confirmed that the demonstration was effectively over at 6:15 pm when another member of our team drove by.
venez-1
venez-3