Athletic Directors are supposed to raise money, give speeches, hire and fire coaches and do it mostly behind the scenes. They aren’t supposed to run onto the field and argue with officials.
Boise State coach Chris Petersen was in play at USC, but has reportedly withdrawn his name from the search.
ESPN’s Joe Schad reports that Petersen withdrew his name “after mutual interest.”
FightOn247 reported on Sunday that Ed Orgeron or Vanderbilt’s James Franklin would likely next in line should Petersen decline, while ESPN reported that the Trojans were down to Petersen and Franklin.
According to ESPN L.A.’s Arash Markazi, Franklin and Petersen have been on Pat Haden’s short list for awhile with Franklin in the lead. Markazi also reports that USC is prepared to make Orgeron the highest paid assistant and an associate head coach.
ESPN L.A. also reported that Washington coach Steve Sarkisian interviewed with Haden over the weekend, but Sarkisian says that no interview took place.
Oakland Raiders assistant and Wyoming alum Ted Gilmore is also rumored to be a candidate.
Should Fritz head to Wyoming, look for Texas co-OC Darrell Wyatt to get serious consideration to replace Fritz.
Texas A&M and head coach Kevin Sumlin have agreed to a six year deal worth $5 million per year. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Sumlin has agreed to not pursue any NFL jobs as part of his new contract.
We continue to hear Kyle Flood is in serious jeopardy at Rutgers. Flood says he’s not at all concerned with his future.
If Flood is fired between now and Feb. 1, he is owed an $850,000 buyout.
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads announced that offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Courtney Messingham and running backs coach Kenith Pope have been let go.
We continue to hear that the situation at Texas remains very fluid. A win at Baylor and the Longhorns gain at least a share of the Big 12.
Would Texas force Mack Brown out after a 9-3 campaign and a Big 12 Championship? Most of our sources don’t think so. However, a bad loss to Baylor and it could be time to turn the page.
At TCU, multiple sources tell us to expect major changes on the offensive side of the ball.
Florida Head coach Will Muschamp fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis.
We’ve heard all sorts of names over the past few days. Possibilities at offensive coordinator include Mike Mularkey, Lane Kiffin, Clay Helton and James Coley, among others.
Offensive line candidates are rumored to range from Neil Callaway to Stacy Searles to Joe Wickline.
New Mexico State fired defensive coordinator David Elson.
Another Ohio State assistant is rumored to be a candidate for the FAU job.
It was reported a couple of weeks ago that Buckeyes defensive coordinator Luke Fickell had interviewed for the job. At the time, Urban Meyer said he didn’t, but Fickell’s name has been hot ever since.
Now, sources indicate Buckeyes assistant head coach and running backs coach Stan Drayton could be a candidate.
FAU athletic director Pat Chun has told associates he wants to hire someone who can recruit Florida (a smart move), and Drayton has had recruiting success wherever he’s been.
Chun spent almost his entire career at Ohio State and apparently that’s all he knows. He has even enlisted Meyer and A.D. Gene Smith to assist in his search.
So, Drayton fills two requirements: He works at Ohio State and he was a Florida with Meyer. Two boxes checked. Could he be the guy?
Luke Stampini of 247Sports reported Monday morning that Western Kentucky offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm could interview for the the FAU position.
Georgia’s Mark Richt has confirmed that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will be back next season.
Charlie Weis‘ job at Kansas is safe. Athletic director Sheahon Zenger is confident that Weis has the program moving in the right direction.
Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas tells WCIA Channel 3 TV that Tim Beckman will return next season.
UCLA has fired running backs coach Steve Broussard. Sources indicate that USC running backs coach Tommie Robinson could be on UCLA’s radar.
Photo: Otto Kitsinger, AP
Current USC players have made it no secret that they would like to see the interim coach Ed Orgeron become the team’s head coach, and now a group of former Trojans is showing their support for Orgeron as well.
Four former SC players — all Pro Football Hall of Fame members — told the L.A. Times that Orgeron should be high on Pat Haden’s list to replace Lane Kiffin.
Marcus Allen, the 1981 Heisman Trophy winner, is the most outspoken of the group.
“From the depths of despair, from a program that was flat-lining, he has made a tremendous turnaround,” Allen said. “Here’s a guy who cares about his players, treats them like his sons, and he wants the very best for them. So he’s going to put you in the right position to be successful.
“He wants these guys to realize their dream, but he knows the only way to do it is to be tough.”
Allen notes that USC has had its biggest success when the head coach was a strong motivator rather than an Xs and O’s guru.
“It’s people, not plays,” he said. “You always hear those coaches say, ‘I don’t care if you like me, I just want to be respected.’ I mean, that’s a joke, dude. You want respect, but you want to be liked too. Because if your players like you, they’ll give you even more.
“Coach O understands that. He’s recruited all these kids. He’s been in every single living room. He knows these kids, he knows their parents. He feels responsible, because they’re there because of him. He wants the best for them.”
Safety Ronnie Lott, and offensive tackles Anthony Munoz and Ron Yary also believe that Orgeron should get strong consideration for the job.
“Ed Orgeron showed me, and showed a lot of people, that . . . in terms of moving forward, he’s got to be considered. He’s not only got to be considered, but he should be very high on the list,” Lott said.
Orgeron asked Munoz to speak to the team before last month’s game at Notre Dame, and Munoz later led USC onto the field before a home game against Utah.
“I’d hate to be in Pat’s shoes right now,” Munoz said. “I think Ed, at least from me being there a couple of times, I think he’s done a phenomenal job. The whole atmosphere is different. Not once has he mentioned the lack of scholarships [because of NCAA sanctions]. That impresses me.
“When you hear the quarterback talk about how much he loves the guy, just going by the tweets, you can see that guys just love him. I’m sure there’s people that want the high-profile names, but I don’t know. If he wins out, he’s got to be strongly considered.”
Yary said if the Trojans beat UCLA on Saturday that Orgeron has to be at the top of the list of candidates.
“It’s not fair for me to think for Pat,” Yary said. “But if there’s a guy who’s stepping up to earn it, [Orgeron] has so far. He’s certainly turned the program around. . . . I’ve met Ed and hear a lot of good things about him from other people.
“I’m sure they’ll give him a fair opportunity to get the job. If he wins the rest of the games, I think he’s put himself up for a job offer.”
Photo: Damian Dovarganes, AP
USC’s turnaround under interim coach Ed Orgeron has been remarkable, and the former Ole Miss head coach has made no secret that he wants the job full time.
Hours after Orgeron led the Trojans to an upset win over Stanford on Saturday night, word leaked that SC athletic director Pat Haden had interviewed Denver Broncos defensive coordinator and interim head coach Jack Del Rio during the team’s bye week.
Orgeron learned about Del Rio’s interview through the media, but he told reporters that it doesn’t bother him in the least.
“That’s the first that I’ve heard about that, and I really don’t care,” Orgeron told the media on Sunday. “I know (Haden) has a job to do, and I know he’s going to go out there and interview the best guys available for USC.”
The excitement Orgeron is building has certainly caught Haden’s attention.
“What Ed has done has been absolutely remarkable,” Haden said Tuesday night during a radio interview with KFWB-AM. “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.”
For whatever it’s worth, Orgeron has the support of his former boss.
According to the LA Daily News’ Scott Wolf, Lane Kiffin was asked by AM 710 radio who the Trojans should hire and gave Orgeron an emphatic endorsement.
“That’s easy. That’s already done. It should be Ed Orgeron.”
But what if Haden goes in a different direction? Kiffin doesn’t think Orgeron would hang around as an assistant.
“It wouldn’t work,” he said.
Kiffin also predicted that the Trojans would win their final three games.
Photo: Don Ryan, AP
News surfaced over the weekend that Broncos defensive coordinator and interim head coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the USC job during Denver’s off week. We’d been hearing rumors, but nothing confirming the interview until Sunday.
Another story surfaced citing sources close to the search claiming the Trojans might be willing to pay as much as $6 million per year to the right coach.
At the same time, interim coach Ed Orgeron is out actively campaigning for the job.
“I want to be the head coach at USC,” Orgeron said Monday during an appearance on ESPNU’s “CFB Daily.” “I love being a head coach. I think that it’s something I’m able to do, and do well. And I want to be the head coach at USC when I get the chance.
“I think I can perform on a very high basis to do what the Trojan family wants me to do.”
Current players are also weighing in saying they’d like to see Orgeron get the permanent gig.
“We absolutely love him,” USC quarterback Cody Kessler said Saturday night. “We’d run through a brick wall for him. He has that look in his eye that you can tell that when he talks to you he really does care.
“I gave him a hug after the game, and I don’t know if he’d want me saying this, but I saw his eyes water up. It’s awesome when you play with someone who has that same passion.”
Then there was a report last week that Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin had emerged as the top candidate for the job.
Orgeron has done a phenomenal job. However, the two leaks over the past week suggest the Trojans are looking in other directions – at least for now. There was no reason for the Del Rio interview to leak – unless it was to quell the growing excitement of USC fans about Orgeron.
And USC certainly isn’t going to pay Orgeron, who was 10-25 at Ole Miss, $6 million per season.
Now, there’s a big difference in coaching at USC and Ole Miss. USC is probably the best job in the Pac-12. Ole Miss is among the bottom bottom four in the SEC. And Orgeron seems more at ease, more mature and more comfortable in his own skin this time around. That doesn’t mean he’s getting the job.
What about Sumlin? We don’t buy it. At least not yet.
Pick a name associated with the USC coaching search – Del Rio, Jon Gruden, Jeff Fisher, Lovie Smith, Mike Riley… Almost every name associated with the job has an NFL background. Even Orgeron spent time with the Saints.
From the outside looking in, it seems USC athletic director Pat Haden is looking for a coach with a certain profile. Sumlin doesn’t seem to fit that profile.
What happens? We’re not sure yet. But this one is far from over.
Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the USC head coaching vacancy on Nov. 1, according to multiple reports.
Broncos GM John Elway confirmed that Haden asked permission to interview Del Rio. The interview took place one day before news surfaced that Denver head coach John Fox needed to undergo heart surgery, which elevated Del Rio to the interim job.
Del Rio was 68–71 in nine seasons as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach.
Trojans assistant Ed Orgeron became USC’s interim coach after Lane Kifin’s firing and is a candidate to become full time coach. The former Ole Miss head coach has led USC to a 5-1 record, including a 20-17 upset win against No. 10 Stanford on Saturday night.
Other names mentioned in conjunction with the USC opening include Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.
Former Bears coach Lovie Smith has denied twice in the past month that he interviewed with USC.
Photo: Gregory Bull, AP
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin’s name is one of several that have been mentioned to replace Lane Kiffin at USC.
But according to Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News, not only is Sumlin a target, he’s emerged as Pat Haden’s top target.
As we mentioned in Thursday’s Rumor Mill, we’ve heard from a couple of sources that there is a growing rift between Sumlin and A&M athletic director Eric Hyman. Obviously, that’s just chatter, but if he is considering the USC job, that could be one of the reasons.
Sumlin, who makes $3.1 million a year at Texas A&M, has won 30 games the past 2 1/2 seasons at Houston and Texas A&M. According to Wolf, USC could potentially double that salary.
Haden’s search is still in the early stages, but he hopes to make a hire in December.
Most of the other names mentioned in connection with the SC job have NFL ties, including Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio. According to sources, Haden contacted Jon Gruden, but Gruden is thought to be focused on NFL jobs if he decides to return to the sideline.
Former Bears coach Lovie Smith has denied twice in the past month that he interviewed with USC.
In addition to Sumlin, other college coaches mentioned include Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin.
Current Trojans coach Ed Orgeron will also be considered but is not expected to get the job.
Photo: Dave Martin, AP