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Saturday, Dec 16, 2017
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Lane Kiffin knows speculation about his future grows with each victory

BOCA RATON — Lane Kiffin already knows what profession he will choose once his coaching career ends.

Kiffin, in his first season at Florida Atlantic, thinks he is destined to join the sports-media ranks. It will provide him opportunity to switch roles and speculate on a coach's next destination.

"You (the media) can say whatever you want," Kiffin said Tuesday. "You can change what people say, too, and you're never held accountable for it. You guys have a great job."

Kiffin's comments came after he was asked about handling the hearsay of his future at FAU. Last week he expressed his happiness in Boca Raton during an ESPNU radio interview, but it was taken as he was automatically returning for another season. The network then tweeted, "Don't be fooled by all the rumors. Lane Kiffin says he's staying at FAU Football."

"I did not make the statement that I will be here next year," Kiffin said. "I plan on being here. They write what I say, and they title it differently . I was talking about that I do really enjoy it here."

Kiffin is more focused on the moment instead of the future. The Owls (8-3) will play in their first Conference USA title game next week against North Texas. They are bowl-eligible for the first time in nearly 10 years and chasing their first 10-win season at the Division I-A level.

He said FAU is more than just a pit stop on the way to a higher profile job. Kiffin's name is often associated with several coaching vacancies among Power Five conferences, including Florida, Tennessee and UCLA.

"It is not what people would assume that, 'You took this job to get the next one,' '' Kiffin said. "Coaches do that because they want to get to that elite level that they call it. I think this is a very unique place in where we're at as a team. We have the majority of our team coming back. We've got one of the most dynamic players in college football, and he's only a true sophomore."'

Kiffin was referring to running back Devin "Motor" Singletary, who has set nearly every FAU single-season record and leads the nation with 25 total touchdowns. Coaching him and the several talented players returning gives all the reason for Kiffin to want to stick around.

"We've got some really good quarterbacks, some that are playing now and some that are playing next year," Kiffin said. "We live in Boca. We can recruit here. We've got an awesome staff. It's not what people would assume."

Players have reciprocated the feeling. They have grown to respect him in a short period of time.

"To me, he's been the same guy," center Antonyo Woods said. "He's a good coach. He wants us to be great. Also, he's just been the same guy, which is one of the greatest qualities in good people."

Still, Kiffin said there will always be rumors about him coveting a new job. He has yet to address the assumptions with the team because it knows the focus is on this season.

"As far as the noise, it is what it is," Kiffin said. "When you're doing well, that's a product of it. I think it's good for our players, for our program. FAU needs to get attention . We have totally changed the national dynamic of FAU."

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