I asked a USC history expert where Larry Smith would be considered among the school’s coaches.
Here’s one opinion: “USC has had Great Coaches, such as Howard Jones, John McKay, and Pete Carroll. It has had Good Coaches, such as Elmer Henderson, and John Robinson (first stint). And it has had what might be called transitional coaches, who had a few key wins (almost always including a Rose Bowl, at least), but ultimately fell short of the standards set by the Great Coaches, and were dismissed. Think Don Clark (although no Rose Bowl victory), Ted Tollner (Rose Bowl victory over Ohio State), John Robinson (second stint), and Larry Smith. Then there is the Paul Hackett level.”
Regarding the St. Louis meeting with Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. I don’t find any problem with Caesar talking and listening to an NFL owner. It’s part of the business in coaching.
I might find it somewhat hypocritical to constantly deny interest in the NFL or refuse to comment on meetings with teams, but we’re past the point of merely believing those farcical statements anymore.
What’s funny is the segment of people at USC who smugly talked about the Falcons’ situation being overblown while a meeting was taking place with the Redskins. But I digress.
Ultimately there is a more important audience: The players, who are enjoying those 6 a.m. workouts right now, might like a word or two on why these conversations with NFL teams consistently take place if USC is such a wonderful place to work. No, they haven’t been told anything so far. And they probably won’t.
USC athletic director Mike Garrett on Larry Smith: “When he came to USC, he brought a tough-minded approach and solid fundamentals and he produced some very successful teams here. Getting his first three teams into the Rose Bowl is unprecedented in our history. We’ll remember Larry dearly and will long appreciate his contributions to Trojan football. Our sincere thoughts go out to Cheryl and the family.”
USC coach Pete Carroll discussed the Washington Redskins coaching vacancy with owner Dan Snyder earlier this month but is no longer a serious candidate for the job, a person familiar with the selection process told The Associated Press on Monday.
Who will the zealots blame for this report? The biased AP?
I didn’t really know the late Larry Smith, but I was a student during his first year at USC. One day after the season was over, a friend of mine wanted his autograph on a football, so we went to the football office. The secretary was gone so we walked into Smith’s office unannounced.
He was sitting at his desk and I asked for his autograph because my friend was afraid he might say no. But Smith was gracious, spoke to us for a few minutes and signed the football. It made my friend’s day.
Sometimes little moments like those say more than talking about a game.
Former USC coach Larry Smith died today after battling leukemia since 2000. He also recently contracted lymphoma and pneumonia. He was 68.
Smith was 44-25-3 from 1987-92 and took USC to three Rose Bowls.
Former USC assistant Greg Burns was hired by Arizona State. Caesar crony Ed Donatell is going to become defensive coordinator at Washington. USC secondary coach Demetrice Martin is an outside shot for a job at UCLA.
It’s getting harder and harder to find a school in the Pac-10 without some USC connection.