The University of Southern California hired Steve Sarkisian as head football coach, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.
Sarkisian replaces interim coach Ed Orgeron, who took over for the fired Lane Kiffin in late September.
The 39-year-old spent the last five seasons as the head coach of the University of Washington, guiding the Huskies to a 34-29 record during that span.
1. Sarkisian Has USC Ties
Sarkisian, a native of Torrance, California, spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at USC (2001-03, 2005-08). The Trojans held an impeccable 74-15 record with him on the staff, including a 22-3 mark when he was offensive coordinator under now-Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.
2. Boise State’s Chris Petersen Was USC’s Top Candidate
Boise State head coach Chris Petersen was USC’s number one candidate for the job, but withdrew from consideration, ESPN reported.
3. Sarkisian Is an Offensive Guru
Sarkisian helped mold a pair of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, during his first tenure with USC.
Additionally, Washington boasted an 1,000-yard rusher during each of his five years as Washington’s head coach.
4. Sarkisian Hopes to Restore USC to National Prominence
It wasn’t USC’s prettiest hour under former head coach Lane Kiffin, who failed to win a bowl game over his first three-plus seasons pacing the sidelines.
The Trojans football team was ineligible for postseason play during Kiffin’s first two seasons in 2010 and 2011. Despite a preseason number one ranking last year, the Trojans finished the 2012 season unranked – the first such occurrence in nearly five decades.
USC Athletics Director Pat Haden fired Kiffin after the Trojans lost their first two conference games this year. Although interim coach Ed Orgeron helped resuscitate the season, Southern Cal decided Sarkisian was their head coach for the future.
5. Sarkisian Will Owe $1.5 Million to Washington
According to the terms of his contract, Sarkisian will owe $1.5 million to the University of Washington for leaving, USA Today reported Monday.
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