Football: new head coach Lane Kiffin is hiring brother as new defensive coordinator, reports say

Chris Kiffin will be taking his first job as a coordinator.

Photo courtesy of Chris Kiffins Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Chris Kiffin’s Twitter.

Brendan Feeney, Sports Editor

New Florida Atlantic head football coach Lane Kiffin is hiring younger brother Chris Kiffin as the team’s defensive coordinator, according to Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman.

This will be Lane’s first on-field staff hire since it was announced he will be the new head coach Monday. Chris has spent his last five seasons as the defensive line coach at the University of Mississippi, including the 2014 season when the Rebels allowed the fewest points in the country.

This will be his first job as a coordinator.

Scout named Chris the National Recruiter of the Year in 2013 after Ole Miss pulled in a top-five class.

He was the lead recruiter of Laremy Tunsil, a five-star offensive lineman who the Miami Dolphins selected with the 13th overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, and played a role in bringing in the top recruit in the nation, defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, who was also selected in the first round of the 2016 draft.

Chris will be taking over a defense which was one of the worst in the country a season ago. The Owls allowed the fifth most yards and the sixth most points per game out of 128 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

The Kiffins will miss out on defensive end Trey Hendrickson, who completed his final year of eligibility this past season after setting program records for sacks and tackles for loss in a career as well as in a single season, during his time at FAU.

Aside from Hendrickson, the defense will be only be losing one starter, defensive lineman Shalom Ogbonda.

Safety Jalen Young, who ranked eighth in the country in solo tackles per game, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, who led the Owls with 113 tackles, and defensive back Raekwon Williams, who broke up the most passes on the team, will all be back. All three earned all-conference honors for their efforts this season.

Monte Kiffin, father of Lane and Chris, made a career as a defensive-minded coach. He held a defensive coaching positions with nine NFL teams and held multiple head coaching and coordinator jobs in the NCAA.

Brendan Feeney is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @feeney42.