Christopher Smith
Author

USC Names Sarkisian Coach, Orgeron Incensed

Dec 02, 2013 6:37 PM EST

We wondered all season whether USC interim coach Ed Orgeron did enough to merit a shot at the job.

We didn't have to wait two days for an answer.

USC hired Washington coach Steve Sarkisian on Monday, multiple news outlets are reporting, and Orgeron understandably has resigned.

Orgeron, a former Ole Miss head coach, guided the Trojans to a 6-2 record and an upset of then-No. 5 Stanford after the school fired Lane Kiffin, creating a mass wave of support within the players and fan base.

But athletic director Pat Haden decided to take the long view instead of the longshot.

Sarkisian was an assistant at USC under Pete Carroll for seven seasons and played quarterback at West Torrance High and El Camino College in the Las Angeles area. He was 34-29 in five seasons as head coach at Washington, including an 8-4 mark this year. He's the first UW football coach to leave voluntarily for another job since 1956; every coach since has retired or been fired.

The Los Angeles Daily News reported Sarkisian will get a five-year contract. According to the Seattle Times, Sarkisian's contract at Washington calls for a $1.5 million penalty if he left before Jan. 31, 2014.

Orgeron was "outraged" by the decision and declined to become one of the highest-paid assistants in the country, resigning immediately, ESPN reported. The network reported that top candidate Chris Petersen of Boise State withdrew from consideration and that the school interviewed Sarkisian over the weekend. Vanderbilt's James Franklin also was a candidate, according to the report.

Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M and Jack Del Rio of the Denver Broncos also were considered at one point, according to previous reports.