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State of Troy: February

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Each month, we interview Pat Haden to discuss the hot topics around USC Athletics.

Can you take us through your decision-making process in regards to making major coaching or staff changes?

Haden-Baseball-Dugout-PC.jpegIt is not the fun part of the job to relieve people of their duties.  It is not just them.  They have a family with kids that need to be pulled out of school, and they have to find new jobs.  However, it is part of the job, and I have to do what is best for the USC Athletic Department.  I am not afraid to make those tough decisions, but I take no pleasure in it.  Secondly, every decision I make to retain a coach or to let one go is thoughtful.  I perfectly understand that people disagree with some of my decisions, but I can promise fans that each decision is made with a great deal of thought for both the short term and long term ramifications for the department.  Furthermore, in the legal profession, we call them "facts not in evidence," but there are things that I know that we cannot share with fans, but they factor into the decision-making process.  

On the other side, what do you think of the new additions to the football coaching staff?

With football, we all stood back, including Lane Kiffin, and said, "Clearly, this season was a disappointment and we need to make some changes."  We wanted to bring in a defensive coordinator with a different style that fit our personnel and someone with Pac-12 experience.  We found that in Clancy Pendergast.  It is going to be an aggressive defense, and I am very happy with the change.  We also added offensive line coach Mike Summers, running backs coach Tommie Robinson and linebackers coach Mike Ekeler who bring a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to our sideline.

Click here for more on the new assistant coaches.

What is your assessment of Bob Cantu as interim head coach and the improvement made by the men's basketball team?

Cantu1-Cal-McG.jpgUnfortunately, we are coming off two tough losses after a four-game winning streak.  We are in the search for a new basketball coach and Bob is certainly going to be given a chance to win that job.  First and foremost, I have been so impressed with how selflessly he has handled this situation.  He is still out there recruiting for next year's class.  He is not looking to get his next job.  He is focused on our guys and winning with this team.  On the court, it is just a lot more fun to watch.  He has taken the shackles off the team.  The guys are having more fun playing, and it looks like the fans are having more fun watching.  It is a faster paced brand of basketball, which is the style we want to have here in the future.

What are your expectations for Dan Hubbs and the baseball program?

Baseball is a conundrum.  It is the most difficult sport at USC to balance the high expectations as 12-time national champions with the scholarship limits and private school tuition costs for walk-ons.  Having said that, we need to vastly improve.  Dan is an experienced coach and he knows USC.  Hopefully, he can help us build around this young, talented pitching staff.  We need to fix baseball in the long term. 

What is the latest update on the Coliseum takeover?

It has gone slower than we anticipated.  If we get control by next season, we will dress it up as best as we can, but our longer term goal is to make it the best venue for our fans and players.

1 Comment

I'd like to receive Pat Haden's regular "State of Troy" emails. I am a USC grad - class of 1977.
Thanks,
Jim Jeffrey

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