The last time USC hired an outsider as athletic director was in 1984, when Mike McGee left Cincinnati. The past two athletic directors were former USC football players (Mike Garrett, Pat Haden).
USC president Max Nikias promised Friday the “process will be national in scope,” but it remains to be seen if it will actually happen.
Here are my top seven candidates:
USC announced Pat Haden will resign as athletic director on June 30. But USC president Max Nikias said Haden “has agreed to a one-year term to guide our renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Beginning July 1, 2016, and ending June 30, 2017, he will maintain an office in the Bovard Administration Building, working closely with me and reporting directly to me as he heads a fundraising initiative focused on renewing the nation’s most venerable stadium and the home of Trojan football.”
Nikias also said he “will be working closely with Nick Brill, principal and co-founder of the Brill Neumann executive search firm, to identify USC’s next athletic director. His firm brings valuable experience working with USC, and me directly, on previous executive searches, including senior vice president positions. The process will be national in scope, with all proceedings held in the strictest confidence, for the benefit of USC Athletics and all qualified candidates.”
UPDATED: How does it affect Clay Helton? Depends who gets the job. If Steve Lopes gets promoted from within, probably no change. But if someone from outside gets the job, then things would obviously be different.
So who was complimenting Snopp Dogg on Signing Day for his video with Jack Jones committing to USC but ripping him a year ago when his son signed with UCLA?
Meanwhile, I could not help but point out to someone at the Galen Center last night the way former USC assistant coaches Justin Wilcox, Peter Sirmon and Chris Wilson found amazing jobs for next season.
Wilcox and Sirmon became defensive coordinators at Wisconsin and Mississippi State while Wilson became the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive line coach. It’s significant because I don’t know if I ever heard more criticism about assistant coaches from within the program than Wilcox and Wilson the past two seasons. Failing upward!
Duck pals, remember two things today:
1. Recruiting is huge
2. USC/UCLA have signed over 300 players since ’09 who’ve gone 1-9 vs Oregon
— Dan Rubenstein (@DanRubenstein) February 3, 2016
Scout.com named tailback Najee Harris of Antioch, Calif., as its No. 1 player for the Class of 2017. He is already committed to Alabama (of course). Do you think USC can get him to flip? Stephen Carr, who is a “soft commit” for USC and also a Class of 2017 tailback, was offered by Notre Dame yesterday.
Think about USC and UCLA’s usual recruiting rankings. As pointed out by my colleague Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, here’s UCLA from 2008-15: 2, 2, 2, 7, 3, 1, 1, 2.
“Yep, over eight years, UCLA was either first or second six times and outside the top three once,” Wilner writes.
And UCLA won zero Pac-12 titles. USC’s recruiting has been even better. Wilner mentions sanctions but it’s also true USC’s talent was far better than other teams in this period.
Even yesterday on ESPNU, Joey Galloway questioned when results are going to match the years of good recruiting? They haven’t really since Pete Carroll left. Is it going to next year? It seems like a lot of people expect USC to lose at least of their first four games next season (Alabama, Utah State, Stanford, Utah). So maybe it’s wait till the year after next year.