As the USC Trojans regular season comes to an end, finishing with a 35-14 loss to crosstown rival UCLA, they have decided to move on from interim head coach Ed Orgeron, and hire Steve Sarkisian as the new head coach. Ed Orgeron was not very happy with the athletic director, Pat Haden’s, decision and decided to immediately resign after not being offered the head coaching position.
It was evident that the team was playing a lot better under their interim coach, and finished the season 6-2, including an impressive underdog win over Stanford University. Many believed that after the win over Stanford, Orgeron had secured his job as head coach for the upcoming season.
Sarkisian, one of the many names that was tossed around as possible coaching candidates, along with Jack Del Rio Kevin Sumlin, and James Franklin was offered the job just three days after the loss to UCLA. Sarkisian is coming from Washington University where he took over an 0-12 program, and led them to a 34-29 record in five seasons. They were 0-12 the season before.
Although Sarkisian was offered the job over Orgeron, Pat Haden did try to make an effort to keep both coaches at USC. He offered Orgeron the Assistant Head Coach postion, and a contract that would have made his among the highest paid assistant coaches in the nation, but Orgeron was outraged and quickly turned down the offer. He will continue to pursue other head coaching opportunities.
Sarkisian is no stranger to the University of Southern California though, as he was an assistant coach there for seven seasons (2001 to 2003 and 2005 to 2008). He coached under Pete Carroll, and the Trojans had a record of 74-15 when he was in the program, including a 22-3 record as offensive coordinator.
He understands that this coaching job will come with the highest of expectations.
Sarkisian thanked the University of Washington, and believes that he left the program in a better position than when he initially took the coaching job there. He believes that with this opportunity at USC, his program will be PAC-12 and national championship contenders in the near future.
As for this season’s bowl game, USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton is expected to be the interim head coach for the bowl they get invited to.