BOCA RATON, Fla. — Lane Kiffin had a few things to say about Jim Harbaugh. Even if he said it in a rather dry, humorous manner.
The first-year Florida Atlantic University coach and his program hosted a satellite camp Monday on campus that included coaches from Michigan, Tennessee, Oregon, Arkansas and Auburn.
When asked about the ambitious nature of Michigan’s satellite camp schedule, and whether FAU aims to match that ambitiousness, Kiffin gave a deadpan answer.
“We aspire to be like Jim Harbaugh,” Kiffin said. “No, seriously, he does a great job. He gets everywhere, and they [Michigan] have the resources to do that.”
Indeed, Kiffin said it was Michigan who contacted FAU’s staff about sending coaches to the camp.
“It was either [Michigan linebackers coach] Chris Partridge or [director of player personnel] Sean Magee, who reached out to their staff,” Harbaugh confirmed when asked who reached out to FAU about working at the camp. “I don’t know exactly who talked to who.
“We threw our hat into the ring in a lot of places, so we asked around and people asked us and we coordinated to be here. It’s a great place to be and a great place to be in, because youngsters here like football a lot, and they’re good at football here.
The NCAA limited Division I programs to 10 days of satellite camps in June; Michigan has sent coaches to camps in Cleveland, Georgia, Maryland and Florida so far this month.
Satellite camps have become a lighting-rod topic in college football the last year but Kiffin, who was most recently Alabama’s offensive coordinator, made it clear that he wasn’t against satellite camps.
“You guys [the media] are thinking that I let these schools come in here because it’s helping us get better players to our camp,” Kiffin said. “I don’t look at it that way.
“I look at it as an opportunity. The whole satellite camp, letting the guys come, I think it’s good. I think it should even help the product of the game, because there’s less margin for error. You’re getting to see these guys a whole day.”
Kiffin, however, wasn’t a fan of the soggy weather that hit South Florida on Monday afternoon.
“I don’t do rain every well,” Kiffin quipped. “Willie Taggart brought that down.”
To be clear, Kiffin has no ill will toward Taggart and Oregon’s staff. In the minutes before the start of the camp, he also continued his praise of Harbaugh.
“I like him because he doesn’t care what you guys think,” Kiffin said. “He doesn’t care what anybody thinks. He’s always done what’s in the best interests of his program.”