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USC Athletic Director Pat Haden has officially named Steve Sarkisian the 23rd head football coach in Trojan history. 

Sarkisian, who tutored two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks as an assistant under Pete Carroll at USC, comes back to the Trojan Family after five years as the Washington Huskies head coach.  During his tenure in Seattle, he won 34 games despite inheriting a program which had won only 12 games in the previous five seasons.

"We are delighted to welcome Steve Sarkisian back to the Trojan Family," said Haden, who will hold a 2 p.m. PT press conference Tuesday in the John McKay Center to formally introduce his new head coach.  "We conducted a very exhaustive and thorough search, pinpointing about 20 candidates and interviewing five of them.  We kept coming back to Sark.  He is the only one who was offered the job.  I believe in my gut that he is the right coach for USC at this time."

Sarkisian said, "I am extremely excited to be coming home to USC and for the opportunity that USC presents to win championships. I can't wait to get started."

Click here for the full release.

While Sarkisian's coaching staff has not yet been announced, Ed Orgeron is leaving USC to pursue head coaching opportunities after leading the Trojans to a 6-2 mark as interim head coach.

"Ed is one of the greatest Trojans ever and we thank him for all he has done for the program," said Haden.  "He and I had a very open and frank discussion.  He understandably was disappointed when I told him we were going in a different direction.  We talked about the possibility of him remaining at USC, but Ed wants to be a head coach and I am supportive of that.  I told him I will do whatever I can to help him in that pursuit."

Sarkisian arrives at USC after leading UW to an 8-4 mark in 2013, which is the program's highest win total since 2000.  He dialed up school record-setting numbers guiding the Huskies' offense this season, which finished No. 8 in the nation in total yards per game.

In his time as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at USC plus his head coaching experience at Washington, Sarkisian has groomed one-time NFL starting quarterbacks Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Matt Cassel, Mark Sanchez and Jake Locker.  As a player, Sarkisian set records as the BYU QB under Norm Chow, including leading the nation in pass efficiency as a senior.

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23 Comments

Personally, it's a major let down....Nothing against Sark, he's clearly a solid coach....However, the Trojan Program/Brand deserves an Elite Winner/Leader akin to a Pete Carroll & Pat Riley.

So stupid should've hired Orgeron...

Are you serious??!!! After all the goodwill built up from the Trojan alumni and fan base with the Kiffin firing, this is the best that Pat could do??!! It's a bad sign when other schools are applauding your decision because of how bad a choice Sark is. Did you not learn your lesson with one half of Sarkiffin?! The one that didn't have Reggie on the field for 4th and 1 at the Rose Bowl? It's probably true that Pat is really a closet Notre Dame fan. Man, another 5 years of mediocrity in football. Thanks Max and Pat! Good luck trying to be the "Stanford of the West" when no one has any school pride left due to our perpetually average football team.

Pat Haden never wanted to hire coach 0. If that was the case he would have been named coach after the Stanford game. Now USC fans can we hold on to potential recruits that coach 0 was in contact with?

I'm not thrilled. But I must admit I wasn't thrilled with the Pete Carroll hire, and was proven wrong - thank God! I'm hoping for the same again.

FIGHT ON, Coach Sark, and welcome back to LA!

And fight on Coach O - we'll miss you.

I trust the judgment of Pat Haden. While we all have warm feelings for Ed Orgeron, Sark is an excellent choice for many reasons---knows USC, great recruiter in the area, familiar with the Pac-12, innovator in the game, etc.

I recall reading about a conversation between Kiff and Sark in which they most expressed a keen interest in the USC job after Pete left. While both wanted the job they agreed the best time to have it was after the person who immediately replaced Pete. Interesting how that played out.

Fight On!

DISAPPOINTED ORGERON AND GRUDEN AREN'T GOING TO BE PART OF THE TEAM BUT SARKISIAN IS A GREAT COACH AND RECRUITER THAT CAN GET US A HEISMAN WORTHY QB

Not happy with this hire. I think Coach O was the man for the job after the way he turned the program around after the firing of Lame Kiffin. Yes he only went 6 and 2 but he did it with the same team that Kiffin was 3 and 2 with. I am afraid the new coach will be just another 500 percent coach like Larry Smith, Ted Tollner, Paul Hackett, and Lame Kiffin. All were good offensive coordinators but not head coaches. McKay, Robinson, and Carroll understand defensive and special teams.
I will hope and pray for better but not sure it will come from this new coach.

Looking forward to seeing what Coach Sarkisian will do! I appreciate everything Coach O did for the program, but as we saw against UCLA, it takes more than a "rah-rah" attitude to win games. Coach Sarkisian has the opportunity to build a dynasty and lifelong career at USC!

Super upset by this decision. I anticipate "fire Sark" and "Fire Haden" chants by week 3. Especially after all of our draft eligible guys leave and guys like Cravens are saying "O" does that mean transfer to Oregon?
Bad move that probably costs Haden his job and credibility as a good AD

As a loyal USC Fan since I was 8 years old. I've rolled through the good and bad years. 9 straight losses to ND and UCLA in the 90's, various coaches like Paul Hackett and Lame Kiffin. But I've also witnessed 1 National Title, 3 Heisman Trophies and the Pete Carrol Era.

Coach O not getting the job is sad to hear, but the fact is, going 6-2 is great, but as a loyal Trojan Fan, losing to both your rivals is never acceptable. We'll never know if Orgeron would have saved his job had he beat UCLA, but it doesn't matter because the team lost and looked lost while doing it.

As fans its time to move (Fight) On and embrace the new era. Sark was a heck of a coach in 7 the years here as an assistant. And I have to believe he will be just as good and bring the same up beat energy.

Are you kidding me? This is our choice after our exhaustive "coaching search"? Another unproven head coach that should remain a coordinator. There is nothing on Sark's head coaching resume that indicates he can win Pac12 titles. 1-2 in Bowls, 24-21 in the Pac12, never more than 5 conference wins in a season, 7-19 versus ranked opponents, never beat Oregon, terrible record on the road. Come on, Haden...

A great coach? Washington couldn't beat Oregon, lost 2 of 3 bowl games and they never won even 6 conference games. For all the recruits he got what did he do? Nothing. Mediocrity is a good word to summarize his tenure. To me he's just an extension of Lane Kiffin but a nicer version. If this is your big hire the email Haden sent me months ago defending his hire of the interim being hired as the head baseball coach flies out the window. As an alumnus as well as someone who loves the university you'll get no applause from me over this Sarkisian. I still seeing him like a thief in the night looting Carroll's staff and then jumping around like an idiot taking glee in beating SC his first year at Washington.

I guess this is the best SC could do. Would have preferred Coach O. I also respect Pat Haden and Sark is not a bad hire.

Sorry to see Coach O leave. He reminded me a lot of John Mc Kay.
I hope Pat Hayden is right. Overall must welcome Coach Sarkisian.
FIGHT ON!

Expecting a big name; however, Sark did take an 0 - 12 team to become a contender with mostly 2-star athletes. It is hard to say that he will not make SC competitive, especially since we are finishing with our sanctions and have a lot of top athletes. Also, his offenses are very good. His play calling is very good too.

I hope he keeps our defensive coaches as I like Clancy and feel he is making our D much better. Time will tell...

Wow, terrible decision. The guy even looks like Kiffin.

We shall call him Kiffin 2.0

Watching from afar your hire speaks to everything wrong about professional ,college sports. Ed Orgeron had a passion that seemed to infect his players and the results were better than prior. I am glad Coach Ed did not take the humiliating offer. As for your laid back AD who has never coached, as we say, Good Luck.

Coach O learned - DONT lose to ucla

Couldn't have said it any Better... Haden should go back to announcing Notre Dame games on nbc !! # FireHaden

Couldn't have said it any Better... Haden should go back to announcing Notre Dame games on nbc !! # FireHaden

As a husky fan id say get used to some 9 win seasons. Honestly I appreciate what he took over (0-12) disaster, changed the attitude, got four top 12-25 recruiting classes and really righted the ship, however the issue and reason husky fans are glad to see him go is that his recruiting classes on average were in the top 2-4 in the PAC 12 yet every year we were just trying to break into the top 5 or 6. We have been on par with Oregon's recruiting as well. Oregon doesn't just get studs left and right, they take good talent and make it great. Sark takes good talent and makes it good to a little bit mediocre with bad play calls, I disciplined play, etc. sorry guys but better you than us.

Im a husky. Sark is definitely Not a good recruiter. Live near bellevue where Myles jack came from and I have first hand knowledge from someone of why he and other bellevue guys didn't like dark. What I heard was his recruiting approach was not about why you should attend washington but why would you want to go play for that school or that one because of various not so nice reasons. Not the way to sell and get recruits. Considering sark was on the verge of being on the hot seat and fired for not progressing the program most huskies feel this hire was a blessing for us. Oregon state shows up 2 weeks ago and plays like they did against oregon and suddenly the huskies are 7-5 again for the 4th straight year and people want him canned.

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