Pat Haden On Coaching Search, Ed Orgeron

USC athletic director Pat Haden spoke on the weekly USC radio show last night and here were the most interesting remarks he made about the coaching search:

“What Ed had done has been absolutely remarkable. He is clearly in our eyesight. We understand. It’s not just the fans. We’re sophisticated enough and know enough about this to understand the attributes that he has and he’s a known quantity.

“But my job is to find the best coach of USC, not just for this year, for five, six or eight games or next year, but hopefully for five, ten or 15 years. So we’re going to go through this process we have and at the end of the day, I think we’ll have a rational decision. And I completely understand that people are going to disagree with the decision I make, no matter who it is, right? So we’re going to get that. I’m fully prepared for that.”

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  • realtrojan

    I totally agree with the views of Pat Haden. At the end of the day, you have to look for a guy who’s going to keep USC football a national power for years to come, not just a streak of winning several games in a season. All these people who are excited about the last several games should cool down and wait until the end of the season in order to see things as they really are.

    • Joe H

      Agreed. Haden’s problem is that the next coach needs to win 10 games in his first year to quiet the Coach O comparisons. Pete was 2-5 to start his first year. If the next coach has that kind of start he will be run out of town unless his name is Gruden or similar.

    • gotroy22

      Stop The Presses! A rah rah is agreeing with the administration.

  • Craig

    By interviewing Del Rio, I have no faith in their “search:”. Del Rio has a losing record as head coach at Jacksonville, has NO recruiting experience, and brings NFL mentality (boring offenses), not college ingenuity. Why go to the expense of flying to Denver to interview him. Because he played at SC? Bad reason.

    • Trojan Hoarse

      Some of the USC boo$ters$ can be quite influential during the interview process….Haden will be interviewing some potential coaches based on their actual qualifications, and some just to keep certain alums happys….I wouldn’t stress too much about Haden interviewing Del Rio, if I were you….now if he were to interview Wade Phillips, I’d be worried……

      • steveg

        I agree, I think Del Rio gets mentioned a lot but only because he is alumni and some alumni believe that is what we should have. So he gets the courtesy interview. Politics, pure and simple. I think even Del Rio knows it.

        • carter

          Add to that list the name of Jeff Fisher, for similar reasons.
          Be interesting to hear how Haden evaluates Mike Riley @ OSU, who does have major college recruiting and coaching credentials.

          • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

            Please no…

    • old_trojan_93

      Makes sense. Haden interviewed Tim Floyd as a peace offering in light of how he was ousted. Even though everyone knew he wouldn’t be hired.

    • rusoviet

      Saul – Craig relax – no way are they going to wait until the NFL playoffs eliminate Denver to make an announcement – it’ll leak and all recruits will be looking elsewhere – DelRio is not under consideration.

  • Saul Goodman

    For those not familiar with how the BBALL hire went this past spring you should really look more into it. Unless Haden dramatically changes his “search” process from that hire, I would expect to be disappointed. That is why interviewing Del Rio is both disappointing and completely unsurprising at the same time. It is also why you want Orgeron to win out and get the job. The other options will be far worse. The Gruden/Shaw level hire won’t happen, but the Del Rio level hire likely will. CEO might be our last best chance at a decent coach.

  • https://www.facebook.com/charles.bucket.3 Charlie Bucket

    Chucker-Bucker, you did it AGAIN!!!

    Hadden is clearly feeling boxed in and doers NOT want the Bayou Bum for the next 5 yrs!!!

    This comment is simply foundation for his outside hire!!

    HAWR-HAAAAWR!!!

    • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

      So are you referring to yourself in the 3rd person, or did you log in to the wrong account again?

      • TrojanFan

        Only a guy like bucket could fuc up a wet dream, pathetic!

    • TrojanFan

      Only a guy like up could fuc up a wet dream, pathetic!

  • Golden Trojan

    Here is a quote from Ed Orgeron’s Wikipedia entry,

    “Orgeron was previously married to Colleen Orgeron.[7] He met his second wife, Kelly, at the 1996 Liberty Bowl and the couple has three children.[6]
    Since returning to USC in 2010, Orgeron has lived in a hotel across the
    street from the campus while his wife and children make their home in
    Louisiana[24].” Is there an issue here for Haden to be concerned/hesitant?

    • gotroy22

      Great question, put that in the question to Scott blog so we get an answer.
      Scott doesn’t read these.

    • RIP Lane Kiffin

      If you were reporting to Lane Kiffin, wouldn’t you stay in a Hotel too ?

      • Golden Trojan

        Good One!

  • Michael Protos

    Despite his claims of sophistication, I wonder if Haden truly appreciates the importance of a coach owning the locker room. Kiffin was done after the Sun Bowl and there was no way he was going to succeed in 2013. It was a huge mistake for Haden not to fire him them, especially given what has come out recently about Kiffin’s conduct the night before. There are 3 things you need from a college head coach: 1) Ability to recruit: 2) Ability to inspire and manage the players, and; 3) Be smart and humble enough to put the best coordinators and assistants in place and let them do their jobs (which is why most “genius” coaches fail at the college level). Ed Orgeron is the right person for the job. Now and for the next 10 years.

    • USC53

      Well said! Recruits want to come, players are backing Coach O like crazy, the fans are going nuts…why would PH mess with that??? If a different coach is hired I think there will be a backlash from the majority of the above.

    • Saul Goodman

      What has come out about Kiffin?

  • Terry Palinski

    The boosters will have a big role in this decision. It is a private school. Take a look at what happened at the Arizona St game. Boosters (Advisors) were the ones that met with Haden in the second half in the locker rooms to can Kiffin.

    If CEO wins out and gets to the Holiday Bowl and beats a B12 team like Oklahoma or Texas you will need to give him a 2 year contract at least. The stands are being filled, recruits are coming back to USC, they are winning and it’s created a positive atmosphere.

    • TrojanFan

      Exactly, I like your opinion! If CEO does not workout, I’m sure he will leave us with some quality recruits. The guy has brought a new found energy to the program, Let’s not disrupt the flow!

      PS….I like your avatar….bucket, take note!

  • ProbationU

    Several years ago across town at UCLA, Pete Dalis fired BB coach Jim Harrick prior to the season. He put an interim coach in place, Steve Lavin.

    Lavin inherited great talent, loved the school and knew how to motivate. He took that team to the Elite 8 and was named permanent coach. The alumni loved him and had pushed Dalis to hire him. At first, recruiting was outstanding. Lavin’s teams were fundamentally unsound, but every now ant then he could get them motivated well and upset #1 Stanford n the road and took the team to numerous Sweet 16′s. After a few years, it was clear that the Emperor had no clothes and was a joke as a coach and the recruits dried up and the team had its first losing record since before Coach Wooden.

    Perhaps Haden wants to make sure that Ed O is more than just the right fit for now. He has done a great job motivating the team and getting them to believe. He is a proven recruiter. However, he won 10 games in 3 years at Ole Miss. It is not as easy a decision as one might think.

    • Trojan Hoarse

      I tend to agree with most of this, but Coach O left the next coach at Ole Miss, Houston Nutt, with some very good recruits…In his first two seasons, head coach Houston Nutt produced consecutive nine-win seasons for the first time since 1961-62 and back-to-back January bowl victories for the first time since 1960-61……..I think Coach O deserves at least some of the credit…….

      • ProbationU

        Don’t get me wrong. Coach O has done a remarkable job. I never thought SC would be playing this well. I think most Trojan fans had mentally given up on the season and are so excited to see the team do well this quickly.

        I just think that Haden needs to make the rational decision and not the emotional one. That may still lead him to Ed O.

        • Trojan Hoarse

          I think that Haden has played this pretty well, so far… he won’t sucked into making an emotional decision…. I would like to think that he would step down as AD rather than get bullied into making an irrational decision…

          • Saul Goodman

            I agree as long as the hire is not Jack Del Freakin Rio.

          • rusoviet

            No way – Jack’s idea of a earning ‘BA’ degree is well what goes with ‘showing exposure’

          • rusoviet

            I agree because we’re that to happen (…get bullied into making an irrational decsion..) that would get out to the hoi polloi fast and ruin what strength of control Haden has.

    • Cheap seats

      Good points, but I think you have to throw the Ole Miss record out.

      Yes, it was a failure, but it could be a big part of his development. Look at Pete Carroll and Bill Billicheat’s prior records in the NFL. The Patriots were mediocre under Carroll and BIllcheat’s Browns were barely a playoff team.

      I think coach O’s true test will be how he handles the hiring of his assistants. I’m more sure of coach O than I am with Helton and Pendergast.

    • Fred Sampson

      Old Miss is an unusual place to win Football games and Coach O’s time there should not be used as a measuring stick. The University a Coach is Coaching for has a lot more to do with success then people think. I don’t think Pete Carroll would have had the same success at Ol’ Miss that he had at USC…That’s for Damn sure.

  • Cheap seats

    Even when thinking rationally, I’m getting more convinced that coach O has what it takes. It’s almost a match made in heaven.

    He plays the type of football we want at USC. He’s an “in the trenches” guy on both sides of the ball. Unlike his predessesor and many other similar coaches who are obsessed with “scheming”, he addresses the ROOT cause.

    Tailback U has made a comeback this year. Offensive lineman will want to play for us again.

    Unless the NFL becomes 50%+ option read, we don’t need a spread offense guy.

    • Trojan Hoarse

      The NFL are already figuring out the read option…..just beat the QB into submission and see how effective they become (RG3, for example)…..

  • Go Tama

    Please welcome our new coach Jack DULL Rio. Oh and he won’t be able to recruit until after the NFL playoffs.

  • Go Tama

    Haden already has a coach, his statement pretty much says as much. Maybe EO can get the Utah gig, they should be firing the dimwit they have any day now.

  • Michael Pierce

    The only critique I would say of Coach O at this point would be the lack of adjustments to the offensive game plan after halftime. What USC needs is not a ‘big hire’ for coach, in my eyes Coach O is the perfect fit IF USC can get Norm Chow back. There is not a better offensive mind in the game and he is available for the taking, ready to forget his head coach aspirations. That is the perfect fit for what ails USC. A QB coach and OC coach that raises the bar and keeps defenses on their heels. Coach O, Clancy P and Norm Chow….that is real leadership. Coach O seems to fit the category of a guy that has learned from his Ole Miss experience. USC under Coach O is miraculous for a myriad of reasons. Bring in a real OC, not to diminish Clay Helton, and USC will be a Top 10 program next year.

    • jetman624

      Would love to see Chow back in the fold…

    • Trojan Hoarse

      All valid points…..and I completely agree with you….I would argue that Stanford seemed to make more halftime adjustments than USC last Saturday, even though the Trojans still managed to win the game….our running game was virtually shutdown… and we were very fortunate to get a couple of interceptions, as well as the QB, Hogan, had an off game….he missed a couple of open receivers and there were also some dropped passes by his WR’s…..

      • rusoviet

        It is here that the lack of scholarship players came to the fore – no margin for error – no chance in inserting a walk-on and praise God it worked!

    • Fred Sampson

      I totally agree, and getting Kennedy Pola back into the picture wouldn’t be bad either.

      • Proud Trojan

        No. Kennedy Pola couldn’t even coach Loyola High School into the CIF high school playoffs this year. He was a disaster at USC under Kiffin. Keep him away from the program. He wasn’t even a very good player when he was a Trojan.

        • Fred Sampson

          Kennedy Pola was an assistant Coach for Loyola High School and at that level you can only Coach the Players that go out for football. Loyola has not had CIF Championship Talent in over 15 years. All of the local High School Coaches speak Highly of Pola which makes recruiting that much easier for USC….But I know everybody has their own opinion.

          • Proud Trojan

            Loyola High School is a PRIVATE high school that recruits everywhere and takes whomever they can give a scholarship to in order to suit up for football. This is very different from the public school system. If you have the ability to recruit and give football scholarships, you have a superior advantage over public high schools. Be that as it may, our season football tickets at USC are directly behind the players’ bench and we watched Pola as a player and a coach. We were not impressed, He should not be brought back to the team.

    • Saul Goodman

      That would be ideal. Probably the smartest thing Wolfie ever wrote on this blog is that SC doesn’t need a great coach, just a competent one. I think your above scenario fits the bill perfectly.

  • jetman624

    The more I watch coach O, the more I am starting to wonder if this year is a flash in the pan. He has an incredible group of players that he has brought together and made believers our of, but I think there are some really special leaders on that team, and that is playing a big part in this mid season resurrection. They are all really high on emotion right now and seem to have adopted an attitude of “win for coach O”, which worries me, because that isn’t something you build multi-year success from. Pat Haden is a smart guy, if coach O isn’t motivating them the right way and instead lets that attitude be the driving force, Haden will see that and coach O will not get the job. They need to be playing inspired football, yes, but they also need to be focused on playing disciplined and fundamentally sound, not trying to get coach O a job.

    • Saul Goodman

      Only time will tell. The players are playing for Coach O because they are enjoying their time under Coach O, not because he’s motivating them to play for him. The question of whether Coach O is capable of motivating his players for other reasons can only be answered in future seasons. The question for Haden is whether Coach O merits the additional time to prove he’s capable of that. Hard to argue that he hasn’t earned that (especially if they win out)

      • jetman624

        I don’t think coach O is trying to motivate them to play for him or his job– but I think they are, at least in part. It is pretty evident in the press conferences and side interviews that they are very aware that their performance will impact Haden’s decision and are using it as motivation. And THAT I don’t think is good as it won’t carry over to next season.

        • Saul Goodman

          I agree, but how can the players be motivated by anything else given the circumstances? They are not playing for a BCS title and a Rose Bowl berth is still a long shot (especially a few weeks ago when all this started). What’s could be more powerful than playing for a coach you believe in? I agree that motivation can not sustain beyond this season, but we will all have to wait for future seasons to see if CEO is able to motivate his players for different reasons. As I stated above, the question is whether CEO has earned that opportunity?

  • B.Miller

    BEST SCENARIO:
    Pat Haden decided to go big name hire.. Hire your “big name” HC (Del Rio / Gruden) Neither has college experience with recruiting or dealing with Alum or Boosters.. keep coach O on as an assistant HC / HC in waiting / recruiting coordinator. And keep Pendergast and his defense..
    Gruden / Del rio are both NFL coaches so eventually they will make their way back to
    the NFL leaving coach O to take over after gaining more HC experience behind a
    Gruden or Del Rio

  • Leland Smith

    Don’t hire Ed. I’ve thrived on hating SC for 61 years, but I find the Orgeron version almost likeable. Find someone obnoxious like Pete Carroll so I can enjoy the rest of my life.

  • Proud Trojan

    Pat Haden cannot be trusted to make the head coaching decision alone. We all learned his inability to think these things out rationally when he professed his love for Kiffin by backing him 150% and then 100% when the SC alums wanted Kiffin’s head on a platter. Let Orgeron remain head coach and try to bring back Norm Chow and add Anthony Munoz to the staff. That would be a winning combination.

  • john wolcott

    The decision to go for it on 4th and 2 was not a percentage play by Coach O, but I suspect one reason why he did it was because he felt he had nothing to lose, and plenty to gain in the eyes of Trojans and Haden

    And what would we be writing today if 4th and 2 had not panned out in the Stanford game– some would say that Coach O was a stupid gambler