Posted November 03, 2013

Report says USC has interviewed former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith; Smith denies

Coaching Carousel, USC Trojans
(Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Lovie Smith last coached in the college ranks in 1995 with Ohio State. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

The USC coaching search is far from over, but via CBS NFL reporter Jason La Canfora, we’re starting to get a feel for the range of candidates Trojans athletic director Pat Haden has in mind. La Canfora reports USC has already interviewed former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. USC also reportedly has former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden and current Washington coach Steve Sarkisian on its list.

From La Canfora:

Early last month, Smith’s son, who serves as his agent, denied a report that an interview with USC had taken place at that time, but, according to a source, the school has spoken with Smith. USC is not commenting on the process.

However, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reached out to Smith, who denied La Canfora’s report:

Smith, 55, had assistant-coaching stints at Tulsa, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio State before moving to the NFL. He took the Bears to Super Bowl XLI following the 2006 season, and he was fired after a 10-6 campaign in 2012.

Smith last served in the college ranks back in 1995. USC will likely consider a number of other candidates before eventually settling on a replacement for Lane Kiffin, who was fired in an airport terminal after the Trojans’ 62-41 loss to Arizona State on Sept. 28.

Since being named the interim coach on Sept. 29, Ed Orgeron has led USC to a 3-1 record with wins over Arizona, Utah and Oregon State. The Trojans will carry a 6-3 record into their game against Cal next Saturday.


I am sitting by my phone in case Pat Haden wants to call me, too.


Smith won't be going to USC. He sees himself as "above" such mundane things, and sees himself as a "player" in the NFL head coaching ranks. The Rooney Rule will probably guarantee that Smith will get another shot somewhere, and compared to others who have gotten second chances, there is no reason he shouldn't.  Lovie is an OK guy, and a pretty good defensive coach, but he also has quite an elevated opinion of himself and a bit of a prickly personality. 


How many sources did La Canfora rely on? Just the one? Because it looks like it's not true. Will La Canfora apologize if it turns out he fell for a lie? Unless Lovie is lying, and that seems unlikely. Do reporters print ANYTHING they are told? Just curious.