FAU countered FIU this week in the hiring of big-name coaches.
After FIU hired Butch Davis last month, FAU announced on Tuesday that it was bringing in Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
The moves by FIU and FAU could lead to an increased intensity in their Conference USA rivalry. Davis didn’t have much to say when asked about Kiffin on Thursday, but he didn’t hesitate when the question had to do about eventually leaving Conference USA.
“Absolutely,” Davis said about FIU’s dream of one day joining a Power Five conference. “[FIU president Dr. Mark Rosenberg] talked to me about that before I took the job. He has a vision to grow this university.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
Growing the football program, Rosenberg believes, was accomplished by hiring the Davis, 64,who has a 63-43 record as a college head coach, including 5-2 in bowls. He was 24-35 as an NFL coach but took the lowly Cleveland Browns to the playoffs in 2002.
Kiffin, 41, was 5-15 as the coach of the Oakland Raiders in the NFL and is 35-21 (0-2 in bowl games) as a college coach, making stops in Tennessee and Southern Cal.
If Davis and Kiffin are successful simultaneously, it will be a first in the brief history of the FIU and FAU programs.
They’ve never gone to bowl games in the same season.
FAU went to bowl games in 2007 and 2008. FIU went bowling in 2010 and 2011.
It remains to be seen how long either coach sticks around at their current jobs and whether they can be truly successful.
But they already have people talking. The co-hosts on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” mentioned the schools on Monday, although Tony Kornheiser did make a snide comment.
“Florida Atlantic, Florida International,” Kornheiser said, “nobody can tell the difference.”
Davis and Kiffin hope to change that soon.
Trey Mourning made an incredibly quiet homecoming last week when his Georgetown Hoyas beat LaSalle 93-78 at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Even though the game was a rout and even though he was back in his hometown, in the very building where his father, Alonzo, led the Heat to an NBA title in 2006, Trey played less than one minute and did not record a stat.
Mourning, a 6-9, 230-pound junior forward, was a big-time high school player at Ransom Everglades, averaging 29 points and 10 rebounds as a senior. He had one game in which he got 52 points, 22 rebounds and 12 blocks but that seems long ago now.
Nova Southeastern 5-10 sophomore wing Megan Piggott scored 18 points in all of her freshman season. Last week, in just her second career start, Piggott eclipsed that in one game, scoring 30 points and earning Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week honors.
Piggott’s breakthrough game surely came as no surprise to her father, Jim, who coached her for four years at Ponte Vedra High. She averaged 23.3 points as a junior and 24.6 points as a senior, setting the St. John’s County record for career points.
UM senior Daniela Darquea gave up the rest of her final season at Miami so she could turn pro. Darquea made the announcement after earning LPGA Tour partial status by virtue of her success at qualifying school.