10 Reasons USC Trojans Should Hire Ed Orgeron as Next Head Coach
10 Reasons USC Should Keep Coach O
The No. 23 USC Trojans (8-3, 5-2) may have already begun looking outside the program for their next head coach, but there’s a really big, really loud and, so far, really successful guy right under Southern California’s surgically altered noses – Ed Orgeron.
Since perennially over-hired Lane Kiffin was run off an airport tarmac and presumably out of Los Angeles earlier this season, USC has been the highest-profile head coaching vacancy in college football. Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin has been thrown around as a possibility. Earlier this month, the university interviewed former All-American Trojans linebacker and current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
But USC’s resurgence under “Coach O” is making Trojans athletics director Pat Haden’s decision more difficult with each passing week. Since taking over for the departed Kiffin, Orgeron is 5-1 as the interim head coach. The Trojans most recent win, 20-17 over then No. 4 Stanford, has them back in the BCS rankings and in contention for a Pac 12 South title.
Most importantly, he’s taken a team that played uninspired and undisciplined football at the beginning of the year and turned them into a group that plays with passion, bringing excitement back to the sideline and the stands. You can't ignore the 10-25 record Orgeron posted in three tumultuous seasons at Ole Miss, but you also cannot discount what he's been able to accomplish with the Trojans this season.
Mr. Haden, before you go running across America in search of the next “it boy” coaching hire, consider these 10 reasons why you should look no further than “Coach O.”
10. He’ll Run You Over with a Hummer
If you’ve never seen it, check out the Hummer commercial “Coach O” did when he was head coach at Ole Miss. Eco-friendly Californians might prefer he do a Prius ad, but this commercial highlights the one thing about Orgeron that Southern California lacks – realness. Not realness in the existential sense, but the kind of down-to-earth, workman attitude that he’s instilled in this football team since taking over.
9. He’s Not This Guy
Hey Mr. Haden, did you call me? I apologize, my bad habit of missing calls extends beyond the sideline.
8. His Working Resume
Orgeron is 5-1 as the Trojans’ head coach, leading USC into the top 25 and a shot at the Pac 12 South title. No one though either was attainable after the 62-41 drubbing at Arizona State (Kiffin’s last game).
7. He’s Not This Guy
Wait, what? They don’t miss me in L.A.? I thought everybody missed Kiffy when he’s gone.
6. He’s Loved by the Players
One of Saturday's defensive heroes, Su'a Cravens, had this to say about Orgeron. “Coach O needs to be here next year… we want Coach O next year,” said the freshman, whose fourth-quarter interception set up the game-winning drive. “Forget the hiring, forget all that. We got Coach O and that's all we need.”
5. He’s Not This Guy
I told you USC was going to beat Stanford! The Trojans have great players. Now can I have my job back or what?
4. He’s Loved by the Fans
Orgeron was engulfed in a sea of cardinal-and-gold-clad fans on the field after USC upset Stanford Saturday night at the Coliseum. It was an unprecedented show of support by a fan base that had become so apathetic that the Coliseum was half-empty two months ago.
3. He’s Not This Guy
Well, fine. USC fans didn’t understand me and I don’t want to go back to So-Cal anyway! I’m telling my dad.
2. He’s a Great Leader
No one can question what Orgeron has been able to do in a few short months as the Trojans’ head coach. Not only is he 5-1, but he’s led USC to a win at Oregon State for the first time in nearly a decade and a victory over Stanford for the first time in five years.
1. You Guessed It
I’m a leader too! And I’ll get another job, you wait and see. I’m still a baby! Because of my young age among head coaches, not because I’m crying.