What does it take to earn a head coaching job in college football these days? Does it require a turnaround of another program? Maybe just a reputation? Or maybe it’s about who you know. Despite Ed Orgeron‘s success as the USC Trojans‘ interim head coach after Lane Kiffin‘s firing earlier in the 2013 season, the program has decided to take a different route and hire someone who was once with the program as a quarterbacks coach, Steve Sarkisian.
The former Washington Huskies head coach has apparently accepted the USC head coaching position and the Trojans have turned their back on Orgeron after he turned USC’s season around, going 6-2 after Kiffin engineered a 2-2 start.
Steve Sarkisian has accepted the USC head coaching position
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) December 2, 2013
Why would the program turn their back on a guy who the players seem to love and had been doing a great job in coaching a team that was depleted and lacked confidence under Kiffin? Well, because he hadn’t had a history of coaching success.
I get why USC hired Sarkisian — he’s a former quarterback coach and was with the program from 2001-03 and 2005-08. He has history with the program and head coaching experience and some minor success.
For a program that is supposed to be elite in college football, the Trojans settled on this choice of head coach as his best record in five years with the Huskies was this season when he led them to an 8-4 record. Prior to 2013, he had no more than seven wins in any season and no less than five wins. That’s the definition of mediocrity. He was 34-29 in five seasons with the school, finishing no higher than third in their division in that time.
I say they should have given Orgeron a chance. He did provide the spark that the Trojans needed and he turned things around in 2013.