Sarkisian Terminated as USC Football Coach


Here is a statement from USC athletic director Pat Haden:

"After careful consideration of what is in the best interest of the university and our student-athletes, I have made the decision to terminate Steve Sarkisian, effective immediately.  

"I want to thank Clay Helton for stepping into the interim head coach role, and I want to add how proud I am of our coaching staff and players and the way they are responding to this difficult situation.  

"Through all of this we remain concerned for Steve and hope that it will give him the opportunity to focus on his personal well-being."


Coach Sark, Fight On! No matter what, Fight On! Trojan Nation is here supporting you all the way.

We Want Chuckie!

Bring back Ed Orgeron!!!

Too bad for Steve, I wonder if he had alcohol problems at the UW

Bye Felicia!

Can we fire Haden now too? He's the one who laughed and didn't give Sarkisian the help he needed when he asked for it!


So, how much of the $4.25 annual salary does USC have to pay?

Typical CYA, "kick the schmuck when he's down," modern day American move. Blame, then punish - severely. Pat Haden has obviously thrown Steve Sarkisian under the bus to cover for his incompetence. I am not a Steve Sarkisian supporter, rather a supporter of people when they are in trouble. The proper thing to do would have been to tell Sarkisian that he was done IN PRIVATE. Tell the world that no decisions would be made until later. You just do NOT beat the cap out somebody at such a low point. Oops, money always wins

Who approved his expenses for the outings and alcohol he consumed? Haden...?

Glad this didn't drag out for a long time. Now both Sark and USC can move on with what is necessary for them. Best of luck to both!

Bring Back Coach O

Couldn't happen to a better person. The way he left The University of Washington, was disgraceful and unprofessional. Bad karma beget bad karma.

Sark had a long history of being a drunk at WA. How did Haden not know this? Was Haden so desperate for Carroll clone that he turned a blind eye? If so, he could have at least selected a defensive minded coach instead of Lame Kitten II.
GET RID OF HADEN! Haden is only marginally more effective than the recent AD at Texas.

USC needs a black head coach!itistruc

The coaching was absent the level of detail and focus to be expected. This should have been apparent to anybody with a decent level of football knowledge.
As a human being, my heart goes out to Sark and his Family.
Steve needs Help and I am sure the USC family will make sure he gets the best.
This is a terrible blow to a Proud Program for all involved.

Now Mr.Haden time for you should resign for your lack of institutional control. What due diligence did you do? You made a bad hire and same for the former basketball coach.

Time for someone to fire Pat Haden and hire a competent AD.

Pat Haden is an Hyprocrite, he did almost the same to coach K. O'Neill except he did not have a drinking problem..time to go Pat you need to GET FIRED!!

Haden had no choice, this was necessary to keep the recruiting loses to a minimum. I hope he realizes how important this next hire is..

Hayden is your problem. The sark drunk tales have been well known for some time. You will lose a lot more then the Michigan lb. congrats on being irrelevant again and being 6 tht or 7th in the pac 12.

So... is it too soon to toss Will Ferrell's name in the hat???

i am sorry and saddened when a coach is fired for his problems. It just goes to show how much tremendous stress this coach was under. I pray that he will heal and get back in the game!

Sark, I hope you get the help you need, we are all cheering for you to rid your self of the problem. You are a fantastic coach and resolving your issue is more important than coaching football at the moment.
Fight on!

I want USC to go after Chip Kelly. He'd be the perfect fit. Fight On!

Sark never had the alcohol problem when he was coach at Washington, apparently his divorce that was filed in the spring of this year started his downhill slide. Sark, FIGHT ON!

Yes. Sarkisian had drinking problems at UW & the alum/fans had been demanding a change for a while. He had numerous issues and recruited top athletes without any regard to character. This is why Chris Petersen is changing the who team/culture and playing 19-freshmen! He's had to get rid of numerous Sarkisian 4-star 'divas'. USC is full of divas, as was very obvious in their loss to a team playing most positions just out of high school. It's a complete mess.
The way Sarkisian exited UW(hours after commuting to stay in a radio interview after their season ending game) completely destroyed his reputation in the NW/PAC12. He took coaches with him & left the team with no one to coach them in their bowl game. Very greedy & immature.
Pat Hayden is just as much to blame. He's an arrogant jerk who needs to be removed.
I'm a UW alum, but hate seeing someone spiral like Sarkisian is. He's almost at rock bottom. I hope he survives this emotionally.

Time to interview Jon Gruden, Tony Dungy, Bill Cowhler, Steve Mariuci & Mike Shanahan..

Chip Kelly ain't coming to LA, the Eagles gave him FULL control of team so no reason to leave.

Steve, I support you and commend you for your strength to come forward and ask for help. And in true business first fashion, you get fired. The same thing happened to me 6 weeks ago. I rehabbed and celebrated 30 days sober today. You can do this, and come back better than before! Reach out if you need anything, or just to talk.

Bring back Coach O

Wishing USC and Steve Sarkisian the best on their respective journeys. Hopefully, USC can move forward on building another identity for their program, and Steve Sarkisian can get to the root of his demons and move on with his life and family.

Dear Trojans, My Family and I are Life long Bruins! We are very concerned for Coach Sarkisian! We Pray that The Lord will Heal and Bless Him! We love the Rivalry, but this is bigger than Sports! A very Good Man needs our prayers and Support! To quote your Famous Cheer, Fight On Coach Sarkisian and all of You Noble Trojans! G-d Bless You all! Pastor Mike Cowden

Sark shoulda stayed in Washington as 7 win seasons were acceptable, not by USC standards.. UW paid him $2.5 millions and he probably saved his marriage if he kept his UW job, quality of Life and cost of living so much better in Washington than it is in LA. Many reports predicted SC was paying Sark $3.2 millions, from $2.5 to $3.2, not much difference comparing the cost of living up in UW. The moved back to SC cost him his Marriage & his Job. BAD MISTAKE!!

Bottom Line: Let's hope Sark gets well, he's still young, i'm sure he'll recover from this fiasco and find a job and a love life somewhere else but LA.

Good Luck Steve!!
Fight On!! are stronger than you can do will be back..Stay strong.

Hire Greg Schiano


Bad choice for Patton?

Haden the enabler. This will all come back to his doorstep.

Steve, I support you and commend you for your strength to come forward and ask for help. And in true business first fashion, you get fired. The same thing happened to me 6 weeks ago. I rehabbed and celebrated 30 days sober today. You can dot this, and come back better than before! Reach out if you need anything, or just to talk.

David Brandon and Brady Hoke are available as a package AD - Head Coach combo if you really want to ruin your tradition and football team at the same time !

Yes, he sure did! It was no secret!!! Seattle Husky Fan

They should have hired Jack Del Rio

Thank you for the comment. You represent a class act. You exemplify the Bruins I remember from the 1960s and the Beban/Prothro Era. We had a great rivalry with mutual respect. I pray for Sark that his heart will be opened and that he will surrender to Jesus and his healing. I give thanks for your wisdom and kindness.

Oh dang, was reading an article online by LA Times Lindsay Thiry & Gary Klein that Sark was making $2.9 Millions by UW in 2013, so damn 7 win Sark shoulda kept the 2.9 millions a year instead he accepted an offer of $3.2 millions by USC. Compare $2.9 to $3.2 mil, he shoulda stay up in UW and probably saved his marriage too..

Get well Sark, sad situation but biz is biz..
USC should be in the sports page not in the headlines of the front page. USC needs to focus on the remainder of the season!!
Fight On!!

Coach Sark , was a good good at Washington, probably couldn't handle the pressure of succeeding Pete Carroll , I'm an avid UCLA BRUIN FAN . But when I heard this I just thought of the Young men that went there cause of him . Now do the kids get to choose another college they might have went to enlight of all that has transpired?

Right on with Ken Norton, Jr. Don't forget former offensive coordinator, Kennedy Polamalu. The list can go on and on. However, we need a strong father figure with strong character and charisma to lead.

His firing was perfect timing & marketing for this ESPN 30 for 30 premiere tomorrow night October 13, 2015. I vaguely remember hearing a saying that may ring very true about this timely firing? "When in Rome, do as the Roman's do." Just maybe they killed the messenger, before the message was revealed? Stay Tuned!

Sark obviously has a dire problem with alcohol. Certainly, he needs help. Would USC fire a head coach with cancer or aids? Alcoholism is a disease and should be treated as such. It is not a moral shortcoming or character flaw. The firing of a man struggling with a disease sets USC and Pat Hayden back 50 years. Good luck to all of you.

So Hayden is unfair. Sark has only to look into the mirror for the cause and resolution to all of his problems. He will not get another head coaching job.

I don't get Haden. I am no Kif or Sark fan, but Haden is a distant and callous man. Firing Kif in the middle of the night on an airport tarmac while the players sat waiting in the plane was classless. Alcoholism is a disease and Sark deserves some dignity. Yes, he had problems at UW. Yes, it was abundantly clear he had this disease two months ago. Why didn't USC compel this man to take leave and get help two months ago?

Haden made his bed and now there aren't USC type hires out there in mid season. Sure they can hire a fired waiver wire coach, but best to keep the interim coach and staff on for the season and get a proper coach search done after the season. So why not keep Sark on leave and counsel him to take a settlement to resign after the season instead of this? He has a disease which is alcoholism and deserves dignity and respect at his low point.

This was also rank stupid of Haden. Sark can easily sue and USC will easily settle for a lot of dough.

It looks like you've indicated you're a USC alum; by the looks of your spelling/grammar in your posting, I'd be surprised if you had a GED. Just sayin'...

lol.. i was just messing with the usc alum thingy.. naw, just a fan. :D

Evidently he did. See LA Times articles penned over the last 24 hrs. Coach Sark is a good Trojan and deserves our support as he goes through his personal battle. Impossible to complete this stressful job, given the challenges of going through detox and alcohol addiction.

Coach Sark is paid a CEO's salary and given a CEO's responsibility. Every Fortune 500 company would
have openly and swiftly fired their CEO for similar
behavior. The Board of Directors of this proud
company did the correct thing. After going through
a very painful journey, a sober Coach Sark will land on his
feet and be a fantastic coach again!

Sark, you deserve the opportunity to get better and we're all hoping you do. Fight On!

I have to say that the fact that USC did not support Steve thru this horrible time in his life is unbelievable. This school makes an unbelievable amount of money from their alumni and the high pressure expectations placed on this coach was not only detrimental to his well being, but also unfair to his current situation. His belief of being a well established participant was well intended. People of all kinds go through horrible personal problems and have the support of their employers. This institution and their alumni should have provided the proper alternatives for Steve Sarkisian. Its unfortunate the Pat Haden and the alumni who provides the big money backing chose the cowards way of dealing with this situation. A real group of individuals would have stood behind their coach and provided the support, care and assistance that someone who gave so much, to each player, and to the belief in this university.

I no longer have faith in the USC board of directors on their poor decision of this unfortunate situation. Shane on all of you!

Sometimes we have to dump the trash in our path. We want to win not party! FightOn

I believe that no ex-pro like Gruden or Dungy would want a college job. Who needs the brain damage? Players today are not team players. Look at the struggle Charlie Strong, a fine coach, has had at Texas....had to clean house and alums want instant Maypo. Only a guy like Nick Saban could do it. STRICT discipline and only a team-first attitude is permitted. Very, very hard combination to find these days. I played Div 1 football and back in the day all the BS simply was not permitted. Coaches could take license with discipline...I believe it was a good thing.

Pat Haden has got to go. Fire Pat Haden now for his incompetence. Bring back Lane Kiffin.

He likely did have alcohol issues from the UW. there is a lot of evidence that was uncovered by the Seattle Times and a local Los Angeles newspaper that showed significant state funded alcohol purchases on his behalf (which to be clear The former husky and Trojan coach reimbursed the university for). There was plenty of evidence of his drinking problem here in Seattle.

Bring back COACH O!!!

Ok its done. Move on,Fight On and beat the Irish!

One thing for sure. He did have good taste in what he liked to drink. NOW who is going to buy it? Of course after the payout he should be fine. He needs to use that money to get into a good rehab center. Yes it's bad but it's what he does next that people will remember.

I can't imagine anyone handling this situation worse than Pat Haden has. He's a great Trojan and obviously a brilliant man, but his actions -- or inaction -- in this matter make it clear he doesn't have what it takes to be an effective AD. He has to go and soon.

A question for you, Jordan. If the Trojans beat UW would Sark be so depressed to drink his way into this outcome? No problem after the big win at ASU only ten days prior. Haden needed to resign along with the firing.

It's really too bad so many people want to kick a man when he's down. I was very happy when the UW hired Sark and I was sorry to see him leave since he recruited outstanding players and improved the team.


Please review Mr. Haden's resume before you criticize him.
As an old school Trojan, I can recall all of his conquests over the past 40 years...
1. CIF (high school) FB State champion and co-MVP
2. NCAA FB national champion twice--MVP of Rose Bowl
his senior year.
3. Helped guide the LOS ANGELES RAMS to the playoffs
several years in a row.

A winner at every level.

His ethics and intelligence are beyond reproach.
1. Rhodes Scholarship award winner--the most prestigious academic award in the WORLD.
2. Earned his law degree "in his spare time" while also playing professional football.
3. Left his INCREDIBLY LUCRATIVE private equity firm and returned to our school when NCAA probation hit.
The consummate student athlete whose highest priority is
the welfare of Student Athletes at USC.

Unpopular as it may seem to fire a man struggling with alcohol addiction, this week Mr. Haden absolutely acted in the best interests of all of the student-athletes at USC.

If there is a better man or woman to guide our school, please do suggest. I can't wait to meet that person.

Frank Mayer, MD
USC 1983, 1988

It's time for Pat Haden and Max Nikias to both be fired. Clear incompetence.

I do not wish to incite arguments on this site, but suffice to say there's more to Sark's dismissal than is being reported. He's not being fired merely for public inebriation or poor on-field performance. Also, I can assure you he has absolutely no legal grounds to stand on for a lawsuit. Understand Haden is a very successful atty who also has counsel of USC's legal dept (& doubtless outside counsel as well). Best to let sleeping dogs lie....

Totally surprised USC didn't keep Sarkisian. The University of Southern California is famous for hiring those of questionable moral and ethical conduct. What about Gen. David Patraeus and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sarkisian shouldn't be fired, he should be given tenure.

Our prayers go out to you Coach Sarkisian.
Fight on !
Buckeye fan

Leave a comment