FAU President John Kelly said Kiffin has coached at the highest level and brings to Boca Raton a winning mentality.
"Lane will change the face of college football here," Kelly said. "Our players will respond to him, our recruitment drives will respond to him, and our fans will respond to him. FAU Stadium will be the home of college football in south Florida."
ESPN has reported that Kiffin has signed a five-year, $4.75 million deal. The buyout on his contract, should he move on, is $2.5 million in the first year and reduces $500,000 each year after.
Kiffin will be the fifth coach, in the programs 15 years of competition, Howard Schnellenberger, Carl Pelini, Brian Wright, and most recently Charlie Partridge.
“It was obvious the commitment here at Florida Atlantic is to take this program to the next level," said Kiffin at a press conference announcing the hire. "I'm very honored and humbled for Florida Atlantic to give myself and our staff an opportunity to build a championship program here. There's no timeline for championships, but there is a commitment to go to work every day to get there."
Kiffin, who met with members of the team on Monday night, will be looking to rebuild an Owls program that has gone 9-27 over the last three years, and has not been to a bowl game since 2008.
“Got that sunshine right there, I know that, and those palm trees, that’ll help, and a beautiful stadium.” Kiffin responded when asked how he plans to build a team at FAU. “I do believe that recruiting is about the people and it’s about the people that I’ve already met that were around and the support that recruits and families will see when they come here.”
For the last three seasons, Kiffin has served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in Tuscaloosa. Under his watch the Crimson Tide offense ranked 17th nationally in total offense with 484.6 yards per game while scoring 36.9 points per game.
"Lane did a phenomenal job for us over the last three years, and we appreciate the impact he made to the success of the program,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said of Kiffin. “He did a tremendous job of molding an offensive system that fit our players, and he is a great hire for the Florida Atlantic football program."
Previously, Kiffin has served as an assistant at the University of Southern California from 2001-06 under Pete Carrol. He would leave USE to be the youngest head coach of the modern NFL at the age of 31 for the Oakland Raiders from 2007-08. After he left Oakland he took a job as head coach of the University of Tennessee for one season in 2009. And, would return to USC as head coach from 2010-12.
At all of his stops, Kiffin led offenses that saw a progression from the previous regimes. He has also been on staff of three National Championships, 2004-05 with USC, and 2015 with Alabama.
For all of his success as an assistant, Kiffin has caused controversy when at the head of a program, he was ousted in Oakland, was seen as “immature” when he left Tennesee after one season, and was fired when in charge at USC.
Kiffin does feel he has learned from his previous experience as a head coach and under the tutelage of Carrol and Saban.
“As hard as some times were, when you go through those experiences, if you learn from them and you don’t make the same mistakes, you now know the answers to things when they come up.” Kiffin would say of the experiences. “Where I think I was so young as a head coach, I think I just was just figuring everything out one day at a time versus really having a plan."