Posted November 20, 2013

USC AD Pat Haden on Ed Orgeron support: ‘I had 136 pro-Coach O emails today’

Ed Orgeron, USC Trojans
USC interim coach Ed Orgeron was mobbed by the crowd after beating Stanford on Saturday. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

USC interim coach Ed Orgeron was mobbed by the crowd after beating No. 4 Stanford. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The fan support for USC interim coach Ed Orgeron has not been lost on Trojans’ athletic director Pat Haden. In fact, it’s almost too much for Haden to handle.

On Tuesday night, Haden told “Trojans Live” on Los Angeles’ KFWB that he has been flooded with support for Orgeron.

“I counted them actually,” Haden said. “I had 136 pro-Coach O emails today. Those were just emails. That doesn’t count the tweets, letters and phone calls. In my day, they sent ‘em by carrier pigeon. Now, I get ‘em four or five ways.”

Orgeron took over as interim head coach when USC fired Lane Kiffin on Sept. 29, hours after the Trojans lost 62-41 to Arizona State to drop to 3-2 on the year. Since then, USC has won five of six games, including last week’s 20-17 upset of No. 4 Stanford.

Several names have been connected to the USC job since Kiffin’s dismissal. Reports indicated that Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin had emerged as the favorite for the gig. Last Sunday, the NFL’s Denver Broncos confirmed that interim head coach Jack Del Rio — a former USC player — had interviewed for the job during the Broncos bye week. No matter which coach the Trojans bring in, USC is reportedly willing to pay up to $6 million per year for its next headman.

Haden said that while Orgeron remains on USC’s radar for the full-time role, the athletic director’s job is to find the best man for the program’s future.

“The good news is we had a lot of time to think about this thing and to really open the universe to potential opportunities because this is a really good job. What Ed had done has been absolutely remarkable. He is clearly in our eyesight. We understand. It’s not just the fans. We’re sophisticated enough and know enough about this to understand the attributes that he has and he’s a known quantity. But my job is to find the best coach of USC, not just for this year, for five or six or eight games or next year, but hopefully for five, 10, or 15 years.

“So we’re going to go through this process we have and at the end of the day, I think we’ll have a rational decision. And I completely understand that people are going to disagree with the decision I make, no matter who it is, right? So we’re going to get that. I’m fully prepared for that. My job is to try to do the best I can for USC. I love USC. I went to school here, met my wife here, my kids went to school here, my best friends are from here, so I get everybody’s passion for USC. I share it. And so we’re going to make as thoughtful of a decision as we possibly can and hopefully we’re going to find the best coach and the best fit for USC football.”

USC visits Colorado on Saturday before closing the regular season at home against No. 14 UCLA.

15 comments
j7apple
j7apple

If Orgeron wins out, wins a bowl game and a new hire comes in, ouch...would not want those shoes. 

DanaBunner
DanaBunner

There is no way I would hire Orgeron if I'm Haden.  He will never take USC to the top.  He might do okay, maybe even notch some 10-2 seasons, but USC wants to be a national championship contender and he is not going to get them there.   He was lousy at Ole Miss, going 10-25.  He's an assistant coach.  He inherited a bunch of very talented players at USC and is doing reasonably well with them.  If Haden is smart, he won't let this short period of success cloud his judgement. 

Matthew53
Matthew53

Give Ogeron a chance. The players are responding to him and there's a huge change in what they produce on the field compared to that inept horrible Lame Kitten. He's righted the ship and pulled off a big win against Stanford who's owned USC of late. 

If he's learned his mistakes from his time at Mississippi State and has the players playing hard each game day...Haden owes it to the University to keep Coach O on for a little while. What do they have to lose? Hire a lost cause retread ho-hum Jack Del Rio? 

I'm a USC hater who loved how long they kept Lame Kitten too!

dandogwood
dandogwood

Keep Eddie O on as a Coach but as an assistant.  Orergon is not smart enough to run a program like USC's a top ten program.  Too many smart coaches out there are better suited. Pay Eddie O well to stay on but as an assistant coach.

OldeRose
OldeRose

Football, and those who play it, are impacted/influenced by emotion and attitude to a far greater degree than other sports and their participants. Nobody is more keenly attuned to that truth than Mr. Haden. He lived with the McKay clan, excelled at SC and then the Rams, and now is a veteran big-time AD. He well knows that John McKay, Marv Goux, John Robinson, and Pete Carroll were dark-horse who-dat's when each first took the reins at Troy. Can anyone name a glamor hire who lit up Trojan football? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?  Give Coach O a two-year deal; the first still in NCAA shackles, the second an MLK Year (free at last). Look at the recruiting record and the on-field improvements. Trojans take care of their own, and Ed Orgeron has made his case the Smith-Barney way--he EARNED it. Fight On, and Beat Da Broons!

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

Hard to argue that he hasn't earned the right to get sioux consideration.

mts
mts

As a SC fan, it's great that things have turned around, but . . . 

didn't everyone think they should have gone 5-1 in those games.  Granted, I would have expected a win over a ND and the loss to come to Stanford, but with the talent (but lack of depth), didn't people think they should beat Utah, Cal, Ore St and Az?


JonPaley
JonPaley

Another USC man that should be in the mix is Jeff Fisher.

espnrefugee0218
espnrefugee0218

My Ed Orgeron story... I used to work at a hotel that frequently had football teams stay and one time Ed Orgeron, (at the time was at Tennessee on Kiffins staff) came to the front desk to buy 4 redbull energy drinks. 

He drank all 4 of them within 10 minutes in the lobby... I was flat out impressed.  

The team later returned to the hotel after the game it was about midnight, he gets 4 more red bulls! 

I was like, thats alot of caffeine before you go to sleep,  he says to me " I dont sleep" downs a redbull goes upstairs

hope you all enjoyed that youre welcome ! 

LA_Banker
LA_Banker

I'm all for Orgeron, but whatever Pat Haden decides, I'll support it. Haden is no dummy. 

doghockey
doghockey

@OldeRose What if the emotion of being rid of Lane Kiffin does not carry over to next year, and Coach O needs to become an X's & O's guy, and cannot pull it off?   I am guessing that the USC faithful will turn on the guy as quickly as they jumped on his bandwagon.  Cuz it seems to me that when you guys were yelling for Kiffin to be fired there were not many of you touting Ed Orgeron for the job.