Lane Kiffin FAU Contract Includes Cheap Buyout Clause

Lane Kiffin headshot from Facebook.

Coach Lane Kiffin and FAU are both pretending that his new contract will keep him at FAU for the long haul. The details of that contract have now been released and it shows the lie.

The contract purports to be a 10-year deal. Kiffin will earn a base salary of $950,000 a year. There are some other incentives and perks that add value, but they’re small potatoes compared to the salary and to what top college football coaches earn. Several coaches earn over $5M a year and Nick Saban gets over $11M from Alabama.

Kiffin is at FAU arguably because his somewhat controversial history made it difficult for him to get a job with a top team. See for example Fox Sports. He’s really at FAU to put in a few years demonstrating his competence (he is undeniably a brilliant coach) and stability until a top team is ready for him and needs him.

That’s where the buyout clause in his contract comes in. While it’s ostensibly a 10-year deal, Kiffin can leave at no cost starting January 1, 2022, six years before the end of the contract. If he leaves earlier there’s are set buyout amounts ranging from $2M if he leaves before the end of 2018 down to $500K if he leaves during the 2021 calendar year. Oddly the buyout amounts are cut in half if University President John Kelly stops serving in that “capacity” at any time during the term of the contract.

The Kiffin FAU buyout clause, from pages 11-12 of the contract.

As a side note, the wording of that part about the University President creates some big potential loopholes. If Kelly takes a sabbatical or a brief leave of absence, does that trigger the reduction? If he leaves the position after Kiffin quits, could Kiffin claw back half of whatever he paid?

If a major college football (or NFL) team decides they want Kiffin and are ready to pay him $5M or more, the $1.5M (2019) or $1M (2020) buyout price will be a trivial extra cost. This 10-year contract does little to keep Kiffin in Boca for any longer than the time it will take him to rehabilitate his reputation.

We hope we are wrong. We would love it if Kiffin would stay at FAU. He’s great for the team, for the university and for the community. But the reality is he’ll be gone by the end of 2020.

The full contract (pdf) is below:

Kiffin, Lane Contract 2d Amdt EXECUTED 6.20.18

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: