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Mike Garrett out as USC's athletic director, replaced by Pat Haden

There have been various rumblings throughout the offseason, reported on not only this website but ones such as our buddy SportsByBrooks, that Mike Garrett was not long for his role as director of athletics at USC.

The rumblings grew even louder in the wake of NCAA and self-imposed sanctions against both the football and basketball programs.  Then, Garrett climbed up into a backhoe and started to help dig his own hole even deeper with his misguided and ill-conceived “Trojan envy” blast in the aftermath of the sanctions announcement.

Today, all those rumblings came home to roost.

As Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times first reported, Garrett is out as USC’s athletic director effective Aug. 3.  And, in a move that will certainly play well amongst Trojan Nation, former USC quarterback Pat Haden will grab the reins of the beleaguered department moving forward.

An official announcement from president-elect Max Nikias announcing the move was released Tuesday afternoon.

Garrett, who spent the last 17 years as AD and was a Heisman Trophy-winning running back at ‘SC, is expected to take a retirement package.

As for Haden, the Board of Trustees member said he was approached by Nikias recently and was asked to take over for Garrett.  After a period of time, including getting the thumbs up from his better half, Haden agreed to climb aboard a listing athletic ship and turn around whatever culture caused the university to find itself in this situation in the first place.

“This is not something I thought about doing, nor something even on my radar,” Haden told the paper. “But I began to see it as a challenge, as something new. And when my wife agreed — and she really doesn’t follow sports closely — I took a closer look.

“One of the reasons I was interested,” Haden said, “was Max Nikias. He is a supporter of USC athletics and is keenly interested in the school’s athletic heritage.”

Given Haden’s utter love for his alma mater, and his squeaky-clean image since leaving Heritage Hall, this is an absolute slam-dunk, home-run hire by the school, one that will go a long way in putting salve on the wounds created by — either directly or indirectly — the latter stages of Garrett’s tenure at the university.

The 57-year-old Haden has been the color commentator on NBC’s coverage of Notre Dame football for the past 12 years, but he made his sports mark at USC long before he became a part of the Irish’s broadcast arm.

Haden was a two-time Academic All-American while at USC, and was named co-MVP of the Trojans’ Rose Bowl win in 1975.  He was a three-year starter under head coach John McKay, taking part in two national titles and three Rose Bowls.

Haden graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from USC; also, Haden was a Rhodes Scholar and played professional football for six years following his collegiate career.  

Additionally, Haden received a doctorate from the Loyola Law School and, for more than 20 years, he has been a general partner of Riordan, Lewis & Haden, a private equity firm which invests in high-growth middle market companies.  

In order to assume his new responsibilities as USC’s athletic director, Haden has resigned from his post as a member of the USC Board of Trustees, which he joined in 1991.

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34 Responses to “Mike Garrett out as USC's athletic director, replaced by Pat Haden”
  1. blitz4848 says: Jul 20, 2010 2:36 PM

    This is a terrific hire for USC. Congrats!!!
    Garrett is totally out of touch. Eventually this will mean the downfall of Lame Kiffin—Haden will not tolerate his/nor his coaches immature & unprofessional shenanigans….start the BYE BYE LAME countdown—at least he has until Aug 3rd to “try” and grow up.

  2. edgy says: Jul 20, 2010 2:43 PM

    I’m sure that Irish fans won’t miss him televising their games but he’s a real good hire for the Trojans. It’s going to take him some time to get up and running but he will do his best to run a clean program.
    Oh and blitz4848, Kiffin won’t have to worry about Haden. Unlike you, he knows a thing about football and won’t let his personal feelings get in the way of evaluating someone.

  3. Jagdbaer says: Jul 20, 2010 2:43 PM

    Now if Haden can tame down douche lord Lane Kiffen and get him to reform, USC is well on its way back to recovery. Garrett must have been too senile to notice Pete Carroll’s shenanigans.

  4. Tha Hamburger says: Jul 20, 2010 2:44 PM

    “You’re such a dick for running our entire sports program through the mud! You should be absolutely ashamed of yourself!
    But hey, here’s a shit-ton of retirement money. This should really get our point across that we’re mad at you.”

  5. SoFlaTrojan says: Jul 20, 2010 2:46 PM

    Blitz,
    What has Kiffin done that is so immature since he has been at USC? I will agree he was out of control at Tennesee but he has been pretty tame at USC.
    The guy was hired 3 weeks prior to NSD and closed with the #1 class in the country (Rivals).

  6. blitz4848 says: Jul 20, 2010 3:12 PM

    SoFlaTrojan
    1–Kiffin did nothing major(he did tell all recruits not to worry about NCAA investigation and there would be NO significant penalties) even though his nose grew almost 2 inches while talking.
    2–He was out of control at both Tennessee and Oakland—do you want the links?
    3–#1 rec class Rivals–was #2 until end of signing day–who put them over the top and ahead of Florida—Seantrel( I now play for Miami) Henderson-back him out and they are #2
    Still a very good job
    SoFlaTrojan & Edgy (I apologize Trojan for putting you in the same sentence with “Edgy”)
    Pat Haden is a “straight arrow” type guy. He will NOT allow Orgeron or Kiffin to recruit the way they do. Haden will keep close tabs on how they represent USC in the recruiting trail–I honestly believe both Kiffin & Orgeron will move on 2-4 yrs because they won’t be able to stay with Hayden’s guidelines as far as how to represent USC. I have nothing personal against Kiffin–just think he’s a car salesman that also coaches football.

  7. aljanguy says: Jul 20, 2010 3:20 PM

    Logical hire, but a successful one?
    First, Garrett had to go. If Carroll had to leave, then so too did Garrett. And Haden is a good and very bright man. But will he build a winner? Is a winner even of paramount importance to USC at this time?
    Lets face it, playing fast and loose with the rules makes for winners, thats why so many great teams in the past (Oklahoma, Miami, Alabama) come to mind when you think of rules violations. Its a big part of why they win. Sad but true.
    Now I don’t think Haden will go down that path, and maybe USC just wants to clear its reputaion for awhile. After all, they’ve just come off of a great decade of football, they could probably be okay being mediocre for awhile.
    I wish him the best, and look forward to seeing the Trojans in the Rose Bowl sooner rather than later.

  8. piratey says: Jul 20, 2010 3:22 PM

    Psh this story isn’t about Mike Garrett getting fired. That was a forgone conclusion. It’s about how we Irish fans are finally rid of Haden! Give me Joe Theismann and his robotic knee in the booth please.

  9. SoFlaTrojan says: Jul 20, 2010 3:23 PM

    Blitz,
    First of all no one thought SC would get hit as hard as they did.
    Second I said what has he done at USC not Oakland or Tennessee.
    Third he still got SH to sign a LOI and only lost him because of the sanctions. Imagine if Lane was recruiting without these things looming over his head.
    In others news Haden’s first course of action is to remove any likeness of RB or OJ Mayo from the school and he is returning the Heisman back to the Heisman trust.
    Great news it would be hard to watch USC games and see that huge #5 in the background.

  10. Go_Irish! says: Jul 20, 2010 3:27 PM

    I always thought it was odd that Haden was selected as the analyst for Notre Dame games, but I do think he was very insightful and was very fair to ND during his tenure on NBC. I wish him well in his new job as AD, but (of course) I hope USC completely FAILS agains the Irish. :)

  11. piratey says: Jul 20, 2010 3:30 PM

    Psh this story isn’t about Mike Garrett getting fired. That was a forgone conclusion. It’s about how we Irish fans are finally rid of Haden! Give me Joe Theismann and his robotic knee in the booth please.

  12. jliskiew says: Jul 20, 2010 3:49 PM

    Who is the most leprechaun-esque replacement available for ND’s NBC broadcast?
    Maybe Rosenthal should start fine-tuning that resume…

  13. edgy says: Jul 20, 2010 3:57 PM

    blitz4848,
    BFD. Seriously, do you think that these guys are incapable of recruiting with Haden looking over their shoulders? You do realize that recruiting had NOTHING to do with USC’s sanctions, right? Do you think that Tennessee is dirty and their AD let Kiffin get away with all those violations, huh? Did Tennessee get probation because of Kiffin? They had secondary violations but frankly, who doesn’t these days? You can’t even offer a recruit a stick of gum or put something on Facebook without having to report yourself.

  14. dsmith4444 says: Jul 20, 2010 4:02 PM

    Well, I can’t see a cheater lasting long working for Haden. Where will Kiffen go?

  15. Deb says: Jul 20, 2010 4:11 PM

    Wow … just … wow! Great hire for SC.
    (Wait … what is all that racket in here?? Ohh, Notre Dame fans complaining about something.)
    Anyway, it’s too bad Haden didn’t have a hand in the coaching selection. Better Del Rio than Kiffin. Sorry, SoFlaTrojan, but what has Kiffin done right at SC that makes you so sure he’s a good fit? Anyone could have a bad experience with Al Davis. But he was an absolute ass during his brief tenure in the SEC. Hysterically funny, but that’s not why you hire a head coach. Much as I despise the team in peach, they deserved better. Fortunately, they’ve found better in Dooley.
    SC needs a serious, sober-minded, experienced leader right now. It’s difficult to imagine Kiffin could be that guy. But if he falls back into the sandbox, I expect Haden will kick him out soon enough … just like he kicked Notre Dame.
    Let’s see, how did that go … down 24-6 at the half, then he came back to win 55-24. Yeah, I believe that’s exactly how Parseghian got his just desserts. Thanks, SC :)
    Roll Tide!

  16. Jagdbaer says: Jul 20, 2010 4:19 PM

    People forget about the whole Dillon Baxter-cell phone “incident” and that has douchey Lane’s spillage all over it. Kiffen got caught up with his own hype like he did at Tenn and now Pat Haden will have to slap him down.

  17. Donna says: Jul 20, 2010 5:19 PM

    “What has Kiffin done that is so immature since he has been at USC? I will agree he was out of control at Tennesee but he has been pretty tame at USC. ”
    In everything I’ve read regarding Kiffin and his time with the vols, he was about to come under fire for several of his players being arrested 3 of them in one incident for robbery. I do not expect coaches to baby sit players and they shouldn’t have to, but you can’t just concern yourself with one aspect of the game such as recruiting, you must keep control of the team you have. With what just went down and the sanctions they face, they really need someone with St. Peter type credentials at the wheel. JMHO!

  18. blitz4848 says: Jul 20, 2010 5:49 PM

    Wow—SoFlaTrojan
    Are you still there? Looks like you are getting it from all directions–lol–U love it!!!!

  19. tango says: Jul 20, 2010 5:52 PM

    Very heart breaking to hear of the terrible problems at USC ! NOT ! Be nice to not have to listen to Haden in the booth and more importantly that insane fight song that must be played at least a 1,000 times per game. The alumni will have Haden tainted in weeks and Kiffin, well what can you say. He is vermin

  20. gator_prof says: Jul 20, 2010 5:57 PM

    Contrition finally…good move by USC. Now they just need a good, straight-arrow football coach and then they will be well on their way to restoration.

  21. SoFlaTrojan says: Jul 20, 2010 7:38 PM

    Deb,
    He did have a hand in the hiring of Kiffin. Kiffin was his guy.

  22. Deb says: Jul 21, 2010 2:22 AM

    @SoFlaTrojan …
    Haden? What was his involvement in the hiring process before taking this job?

  23. SoFlaTrojan says: Jul 21, 2010 8:23 AM

    Deb,
    He was one of the leaders on the BOT that hired Kiffin. From what I gather Garrett was more of a figure head in the hiring of Kiffin.
    I know Kiffin was an idiot at UT calling out Urban and not knowing the rules. But in recruiting secondary violations are part of the culture. I think since Lane was so young and so outspoken his secondary violations were made into a big deal. Every school committs these type violations, the Orlando Sentinel reported UF had 4 last year.
    Here is quote from Haden.
    “He is my coach, and I love my coach,” Haden said. “I think he’s going to be successful here. I think Lane’s going to do fine. I don’t think we’re going to have a problem with compliance with Lane. I’ve already talked to him about that. I know Mike Garrett talked to him about that. I know Steve Sample talked to him about it, and president-elect Nikias has talked to him about it. He knows where we’re coming from.”

  24. BENITO says: Jul 21, 2010 10:21 AM

    CHEAT ON TROJANS!!!

  25. blitz4848 says: Jul 21, 2010 10:54 AM

    @ SoFlaTrojan
    Thank YOU—U made my point from yesterday.
    EVERYONE at USC has “talked” to Lame about compliance, following rules, etc… It’s my understanding that they ALL had the same conversations with Orgeron and TOLD them BOTH that there are NO MORE gray areas…
    They are not to put USC in the headlines for ANY reason regarding recruiting. They were also told NOT to make any promises that couldn’t be followed through on. Ex: telling Sean Henderson & others no big sanctions coming and if so we can beat them. Orgeron is going to be held to a higher standard than he has ever been before which really doesn’t mean much when you have no where to go but UP anyway.
    I applaude the new school Pres & the hiring of Pat Haden as positive moves towards getting back the schools dignity and honor. I just don’t think Kiffen can or will change, same for Orgeron.
    They may lay low for awhile but sooner or later they will show their true colors and Haden will
    show them BOTH the door.
    ROLL Tide Roll TIDE ROLL TIDE

  26. SoFlaTrojan says: Jul 21, 2010 11:15 AM

    Blitz,
    Please site your source for this;
    They were also told NOT to make any promises that couldn’t be followed through on. Ex: telling Sean Henderson & others no big sanctions coming and if so we can beat them
    Sounds like you made this up. I
    probably follow USC Football a little closer than you do and I can tell you NO one thought they were going to get hit as hard as they did.
    Nice get for the Gators today on Chris Martin.

  27. edgy says: Jul 21, 2010 11:26 AM

    blitz4848 says: July 21, 2010 10:54 AM ET
    @ SoFlaTrojan
    Thank YOU—U made my point from yesterday.
    ****************
    You’re so blinded by hatred that you can’t even see the truth. Per SoFlaTrojan (and what I was saying before):
    But in recruiting secondary violations are part of the culture. I think since Lane was so young and so outspoken his secondary violations were made into a big deal. Every school committs these type violations, the Orlando Sentinel reported UF had 4 last year.
    Does Alabama’s AD look the other way for Saban? Are you going to hold Saban’s feet to the fire for what’s been reported recently? Seriously, show me a coach that hasn’t committed a secondary violation and I’ll show you a coach that’s only been on the job for 30 seconds and hasn’t picked up the phone. Orgeron is the guy that worries me more than Kiffin but he hasn’t crossed the line like he did before so maybe he’s learned a thing or two.

  28. blitz4848 says: Jul 21, 2010 11:56 AM

    @Edgy–you are so blinded by hatred?????
    How do U come up with that? I respect USC just have had fun with how they mishandled their problems—i.e. Garrett’s an idiot…etc
    I enjoy conv with So Fla Trojan but you sir are just a moron who shoots blanks most of the time! I also never spoke of sec violations…..I don’t respect Saban because of how he handles his LSu to Miami Dolphins to Bama saga……
    @SoFlaTrojan
    I don’t make things up—too easy to be exposed
    Heard that on Mike & Mike In The Morning around 6:30. What does nobody thought they were going to get hit that hard have to do with this conv–not connecting–sorry.
    Back to that point a sec—nobody “outside” So Cal thought they would get hit hard. There were a lot of us that believed the prev Pres, Garretts & Carroll’s arrogance & stone walling was going to bring the “heavy hammer”

  29. SoFlaTrojan says: Jul 21, 2010 12:46 PM

    Blitz,
    Good ole ESPN such a great source for credible information when it comes to CFB.
    ESPN- Breaking News:
    Chow is a done deal following Kiffin to USC.
    Texas will join the PAC 10 today- Meanwhile Orangebloods is saying they are staying in the B12.
    I doubt Mike Golic (Notre Dame) has the inside story on USC. I am sure Golic knows Haden since he does ND games. But I doubt Haden would take the job as AD and then make comments to Mike and Mike about having to keep his head coach in check.

  30. edgy says: Jul 21, 2010 1:01 PM

    blitz4848 says:
    @Edgy–you are so blinded by hatred?????
    How do U come up with that? I respect USC just have had fun with how they mishandled their problems—i.e. Garrett’s an idiot…etc
    ********************
    You DON”T respect USC one bit and to say that you do is disingenuous. If you search this site, you won’t find me pointing fingers at ANY program for their problems because I know how hard it is to commit any kind of violations, something that you seem to not have an idea about.
    I don’t care if you point fingers to what USC did because they screwed up but then you go and put words into people’s mouths and put your own biases into statements that never came from them.
    Before sanctions, USC lost at least one recruit so if they were telling them that no big sanctions were coming, why didn’t they lose more and why didn’t the ones who committed jump ship? They lost 2 guys and one was before the announcement and the other, Henderson, was after. You’d think that if these guys had felt that they had been lied to that they’d have jumped ship by now, right?
    BTW, I listened to M&M and I sure as hell didn’t hear what you said that you heard….

  31. Jagdbaer says: Jul 21, 2010 2:49 PM

    FYI
    Pat Haden told Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio today that USC made mistakes during the Pete Carroll/Mike Garrett administration and he came on board to clean up the school. I would say that is a big admission to what was going on. Colin also commented on what a “source” told him a couple of years ago about the going’s on at SC and it was just a matter of time befor the whole house of cards came crashing down. Pat was brought in to take control of the whore house Carroll and Garrett let USC become. Now all he has to do is keep Lane Kiffin from acting like a douche bag and SC will be on its way back to respectability.

  32. tp says: Jul 21, 2010 8:14 PM

    You do realize that Pat Haden is a trustee at USC and was one of the people in charge of hiring the new football coach. He was one of the people responsible for bringing Kiffin in as coach.

  33. blitz4848 says: Jul 22, 2010 12:44 PM

    Yes, but you don’t know how he voted and Kiffin’s hiring may not have been by a majority vote of the trustees.

  34. Dreaded vote of confidence? ‘Gene Smith’s job is safe’ says Gee | CollegeFootballTalk says: Jun 1, 2011 8:03 PM

    [...] precisely what USC did in the wake of their historic sanctions — after they “parted ways” with their athletic director, of [...]

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