UPDATE: According to Brett McMurphy of ESPN reports that interim head coach Ed Orgeron has resigned in the wake of Steve Sarkisian accepting the USC head coaching job.
Ed Orgeron "outraged" didn't receive USC job & resigns. OC Clay Helton expected to coach bowl, source told @ESPN— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 2, 2013
Orgeron being "outraged" seems a bit questionable, as he seemed to accept his fate on Saturday after USC lost to crosstown rivals, UCLA. Either way, he has resigned, leaving the Trojans without the popular, charistmatic figure. He has also elected not to coach the Trojans in their impending bowl game.
Twitter exploded on late Monday morning when news broke that USC athletic director Pat Haden hired University of Washington's Steve Sarkisian as the next head coach of the Trojans.
Haden's choice to hire another Pete Carroll disciple has been met with much skepticism, particularly because in Sarkisian's tenure at UW, he's gone 34-29 in five years and is 8-4 this season. That surely isn't the splash hire Trojan fans were hoping for, but then again, some guy named Pete Carroll wasn't either once upon a time.
That worked out well.
As Sarkisian packs up and heads back to his old stomping grounds, he already has a job to do before he even gets there: convince Ed Orgeron to stay on staff.
In theory, this shouldn't be too hard. They both know USC really well, having worked together under Carroll, and Orgeron has expressed his desire to stay with the Trojan program before. The combination of Sarkisian and Orgeron—and the potential addition of Tosh Lupoi, the Huskies' defensive line coach and defensive coordinator—could make USC the premiere football destination in Los Angeles again.
One prized recruit that had previously stopped considering USC already seems to think so.
Two current USC players previously recruited by Sarkisian telling me they're happy with the hire. One saying "I'm excited as hell".— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) December 2, 2013
The obvious knock against Sarkisian is his record at UW, but Oregeron wasn't exactly impressive as the head coach at Ole Miss, either. Sure, he did well in his stint at USC, but is he really head coach material? Haden apparently thinks the answer is no. Orgeron never really did any coaching in the wake of Kiffin; he lucked into a situation where emotions and a drastic change from the norm helped fuel his success.
Is he the best hire? No, probably not. But he is arguably a better hire than Orgeron. That said, USC can still have that all-star staff if Sarkisian can convince Orgeron to stay.
The players adore Orgeron, and some have taken to Twitter to express their reservations about the hire.
That's crazy— Ty Isaac (@TyIsaac) December 2, 2013
A USC player tells me, "A few of guys who don't know Sark are kind of on Orgeron's side here."— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) December 2, 2013
Wow.....— Kevin Graf (@KevinGraf77) December 2, 2013
The impact of this hire will likely reverberate through the USC community and on the internet for the days to come. If Sarkisian wants to make a good impression early in Los Angeles, he will lobby just as hard as the players to keep Orgeron on staff.