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USC has reportedly interviewed Lovie Smith for coaching vacancy

Lovie Smith Brian Kelly AP

Back in mid-October, speculation surfaced that Lovie Smith had interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at USC.

While Smith’s agent, who also happens to be his son, denied it at the time, the speculation has resurfaced.

Jason La Canfora of is reporting that Smith has already interviewed with the Trojans about becoming the permanent replacement for Lane Kiffin, who was fired in late September after three-plus seasons at the school.  La Canfora did not specify when the interview took place.

While Smith is mainly known for his time in the NFL, he does have extensive collegiate experience, albeit none this millenium.  Smith’s last post at the collegiate level came in 1995 as defensive backs coach at Ohio State.  He also has stops at Tennessee (1993-94), Kentucky (1992), Arizona State (1988-91), Wisconsin (1987) and Tulsa (1983-86) on his coaching résumé.

Smith was fired by the Chicago Bears as its head coach in December of last year and has spent the 2013 season on the coaching sidelines.  It’s highly unlikely that will be the case in 2014 as Smith is expected to be in high demand, especially by NFL teams that will be in search of a new head coach in the next month or two.

Steve Sarkisian, a former Trojan assistant under Pete Carroll, has also been mentioned as a viable (betting) possibility for the USC opening.  On that front, La Canfora writes “[s]ources said that… Sarkisian was well positioned to land that position, though a recent three-game losing streak may have cooled his star some.”  It’s highly doubtful, however, that, if Sarkisian is one of Pat Haden‘s target, the athletic director would allow a three-game losing streak to change an opinion that’s likely been formed on the totality of the Washington head coach’s work and what he could bring to the football program.

Not so unexpectedly, Sarkisian, at least publicly, denied any interest in the job when it first surfaced.

Of course, any report on a coaching search, whether it be at the collegiate or professional, would be incomplete without the requisite mention of Jon Gruden.  According to La Canfora, USC “would ideally love to land” Gruden, but the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders head coach is expected to either stay in the broadcast booth or return to coaching at the NFL level.

UPDATED 10:46 a.m. ET: Matt Smith, Lovie Smith’s agent and son, tweeted the following shortly after La Canfora’s report surfaced.

“I guess unnamed sources have a better grasp of things than I do!!”

Take all of this for what it’s worth.

UPDATED 1:01 p.m. ET: The denials continue to flow like its Egypt, with Jay Glazer writing via Twitter a short time ago that he “[j]ust heard from Lovie Smith who was taken aback by report he interviewed for USC. Says absolutely did not and has zero interest.”

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11 Responses to “USC has reportedly interviewed Lovie Smith for coaching vacancy”
  1. cometkazie says: Nov 3, 2013 10:55 AM

    All the best, Lovie.

  2. southernpatriots says: Nov 3, 2013 10:55 AM

    Southern Cal has a challenge. They need a very good coach who is familiar with the modern offenses and is not only a good overseer, but one who will be able to deal with the huge cadre of press that will be almost an ever present reality.

    I am sure they are hoping to conclude their search soon, and I wish them well.

  3. MyTeamsAllStink says: Nov 3, 2013 11:19 AM

    Ed Ogeron deserves the job

  4. bralinshan says: Nov 3, 2013 12:14 PM

    Lovie Smith? Why?

  5. thegonz13 says: Nov 3, 2013 12:23 PM

    So far, Ed Orgeron has made a pretty good case to stake a claim at the job!

  6. skwackquackwoof says: Nov 3, 2013 2:03 PM

    As a Ducks fan, I would like to see Orgeron or Sark. As a Pac fan Lovie would be phenomenal, and scare me as a Duck fan for a bonus.

  7. sfsugator says: Nov 3, 2013 3:38 PM

    Usc had to interview a minority canidate its the rules now that they did they can go after who they really want

  8. alligatorsnapper says: Nov 3, 2013 5:20 PM

    sfsugator: Either that is a stupid statement or a racist one, and I chose both. I guess USC does not recruit who they really want, but have to recruit minority players because of “the rules”? hogwash. Tell that racist mess to TAMU and other colleges and NFL teams.

  9. sfsugator says: Nov 3, 2013 10:09 PM

    not a racist just a realist. Other colleges and nfl teams have done the same thing is it messed up yes but that’s the nature of the business, who says there not going to hire TAMU head man jus saying. Don’t jump to conclusion and troll out calling other people racist bro get a life man. It’s a message board.

  10. whitdog23 says: Nov 4, 2013 9:50 AM

    typical uninformed message board troll from mommy’s basement. rooney rule (interviewing minority candidates) ONLY applies to nfl teams. ncaa has no such rule. keep spreading your lies and untruths. real sports people know the truth

  11. sfsugator says: Nov 5, 2013 7:36 PM

    the ncaa might not have the rule but its unwritten and still followed, watch American sport much?

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