While more and more people are clamoring for Pat Haden to strip the interim tag from the current head coach’s title, a name that’s been bandied about the rumor mill for the past couple of months has surfaced again.
Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com reported Sunday morning that the USC athletic director flew to Denver two weeks ago and interviewed Jack Del Rio for what’s technically a coaching vacancy. Del Rio, who currently serves as the Broncos’ defensive coordinator, was an All-American linebacker with the Trojans in the early/mid-eighties.
It was those ties to the school, as well as his experience as a head coach at the NFL level, that had his name in the mix shortly after Lane Kiffin was fired in late September. In fact, in the first set of odds released after the dismissal, Del Rio was a 3/1 favorite to become Kiffin’s permanent replacement.
Haden’s search, which reportedly includes a $6 million-a-year salary incentive, has been somewhat complicated by the Trojans’ recent resurgence.
USC has won five of its six games — and are still alive for a division title at 5-0 in Pac-12 play — since Kiffin was summarily dismissed and Ed Orgeron was named the interim head coach. Included amongst those five wins was the upset Saturday night of then-No. 5 Stanford, which only increased the calls both locally and nationally for Orgeron to be tabbed as the permanent head coach moving forward.
A final decision from Haden on which direction the football program will take when it comes to head coach is not expected until the end of the regular season, at the earliest.
UPDATED 3:33 p.m. ET: The Denver Broncos confirmed Sunday afternoon that Jack Del Rio interviewed with USC Nov. 1.