Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin denied on Wednesday that former Baylor head coach Art Briles is serving as a consultant for the Owls.
"Somebody texted me and wanted to know why I hired Art Briles, and I was like, 'What?'" Kiffin said, per Chris Low of ESPN.com. "He's absolutely not a consultant and has never been to practice or spoken to our team. That's classic 'somebody trying to make it a story' because it's Art Briles and Lane Kiffin."
Kiffin's remarks follow comments from both offensive coordinator Kendal Briles—the son of Art Briles—and the head coach himself that suggested the former Baylor coach may be serving as an informal consultant for the program.
"Obviously, he has ideas," Kendal Briles told Matthew DeFranks of the Sun-Sentinel on Monday. "He wants to know personnel and different guys and making sure we're getting those guys in the right spots and getting them touches and all that stuff. He's a football coach, that's all he's ever been. He's definitely involved and we talk daily."
"Obviously, he's done unbelievable things on offense," Kiffin added Monday. "It's his system that he started years and years ago. Every once in a while, I'll text or call him and bounce something off of him."
But Kiffin emphasized on Wednesday that his communication with Art Briles was mostly to give him updates on how his son was handling his offensive coordinator duties.
"He's a coach's dad just like mine, and I told him that his son is doing a really good job, which all dads, especially coach's dads, love to hear," he said, per Low. "It's no different than when you call a player's parent and tell them their son is doing well. And in the course of that, I've asked him a few questions because it's obviously his [offensive] system that he's run for years. So I've asked him a couple of questions about alignments of players or something like that."
Kiffin, 42, is in his first year as the head coach of Florida Atlantic after a career that included failed head-coaching stints with the Oakland Raiders (2007-08), Tennessee Volunteers (2009) and USC Trojans (2010-13). He took the FAU job after serving as the offensive coordinator under Nick Saban for Alabama (2014-16).
After his previous unsuccessful head-coaching tenures, Kiffin likely isn't courting controversy this time around. And having Art Briles as a hired consultant would be extremely controversial after he was fired from Baylor in 2016 following a university-sanctioned investigation that found he failed to properly handle and oversee a number of domestic violence and sexual assault cases during his tenure at the school.