Bowden praises Kiffin for managing distractions his first year at FAU


As an older coach from the pre-social media generation, Akron coach Terry Bowden — son of legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden — should hate Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin’s Twitter antics and “expert trolling.”

Bowden’s true feelings? People who have never coached overreact to Kiffin’s “rat poison” and “#cometothefaU” tweets.

“You learn something in this game early: you don’t give a flip what the other people’s fans care about because they don’t like you no matter what you do,” Bowden said on Wednesday. “You only care about what your fans feel about you.”

Bowden’s Akron Zips (7-6, 6-2 in the MAC) will play Kiffin’s Owls (10-3, 9-0 in Conference USA) in the Boca Raton Bowl on Dec. 19.

In town for an official press conference featuring both coaches and Boca Bowl Executive Director Doug Mosley, Bowden expressed his respect for Kiffin, who has led the Owls to more wins this season (10) than they had in the past three seasons combined (nine).

“The bad part of coming down here is we’re playing FAU and I think it’s probably the hottest team in the country,” Bowden said. “I think Lane’s probably just done the best job in America, if not one of the top two jobs as a head coach in America.”

Kiffin joked that Bowden’s praise was “rat poison.”

“Don’t listen to that and don’t stream that to our players please,” Kiffin said with a laugh.

Bowden, a former head coach at Auburn, specifically praised Kiffin’s ability to manage distractions, including rumors he would leave after one season for a bigger school. Though Kiffin has not officially interviewed at other programs, his name has been linked to openings at numerous schools, including Oregon, now that Willie Taggart has left to coach Florida State, Tennessee - where he was the head coach in 2009 - and the now-filled UCLA spot.

“If you’re gonna be in this business as long as he has, you’re gonna learn how to handle distractions,” Bowden said. “The one thing you gotta remember: if they’re not talking about you or your name’s not being mentioned, you’re not doing a very good job. You learn how to handle it by just knowing what they are and they’re just rumors.”

Bowden then drew a comparison between himself and Kiffin as both are sons of legendary football coaches. Lane’s father, Monte, was a Super Bowl winning defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996-2008 and currently is a pro liaison for FAU.

Terry said his father, who last coached in 2009 with the Seminoles, will join the Zips in Boca Raton after they arrive next week.

“I had a father that went through it every day and (Lane) had a father going through it,” Bowden said. “You learn to handle rumors pretty early in your career.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

2018 NFL Mock Draft: First-round projections, top players, order for 2018 NFL Draft (4/19/2018)
2018 NFL Mock Draft: First-round projections, top players, order for 2018 NFL Draft (4/19/2018)

2018 NFL Mock Drafts project the first round only one week before the 2018 NFL Draft. Below, find first-round projections, top players and a first-round draft order. The 2018 NFL Draft is set to start on Thursday, April 26. The Cleveland Browns have the No. 1 pick. Cleveland Browns — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: It seems the debate about...
Ferentz Factor: How much playing at Iowa boosts offensive linemen’s draft stock
Ferentz Factor: How much playing at Iowa boosts offensive linemen’s draft stock

IOWA CITY, Iowa — During an NFL combine interview, a pro scout asked James Daniels to draw a formation. He quickly started sketching out ’21’ personnel. He put two wide receivers, one tight end and a tailback on the field. When he added the fullback the scout spoke up. He never saw a player do that before and thought it...
Oklahoma moves to No. 1 recruiting class; Baker Mayfield appears on Sports Illustrated cover
Oklahoma moves to No. 1 recruiting class; Baker Mayfield appears on Sports Illustrated cover

What to look for on LSU’s last practice day of spring session
What to look for on LSU’s last practice day of spring session

LSU football is in the news every day, and  the Bayou Bengal Briefing is here to keep you updated with the latest headlines five mornings a week. Join us every Monday through Friday for the biggest news on Tigers football, recruiting, baseball and more. Enjoy! LSU is opening up its practice session to the...
2018 NFL mock draft: Projections for all rounds, 32 teams
2018 NFL mock draft: Projections for all rounds, 32 teams

2018 NFL mock draft projections are here for all rounds and the 32 teams. There is a strong debate about which player should go No. 1 to the Cleveland Browns. Though USC’s Sam Darnold and Wyoming’s Josh Allen are the favorite to go first, Penn State RB Saquon Barkley might be the most talented player...
More Stories