And the drumbeat, right or wrong, for Ed Orgeron to have the interim tag stripped from his title continues. Or, at the very least, the growing numbers banging the drums have received a bit more ammunition.
The Maxwell Football Club released its list of 16 semifinalists for its Coach of the Year award Wednesday and, of course, USC’s Orgeron is a part of that elite group. Since taking over for the fired Lane Kiffin in late September, Orgeron has guided the Trojans to a 5-1 record, including a 5-0 mark in Pac-12 play.
USC’s lone loss with Orgeron as head coach was a four-point defeat against Notre Dame in South Bend.
While acknowledging that his search for a permanent replacement must expand beyond what’s happening in Los Angeles at the moment, athletic director Pat Haden also understands what Orgeron has accomplished during what’s essentially been an on-the-job interview.
“What Ed had done has been absolutely remarkable,” Haden said during a radio interview yesterday. “He is clearly in our eyesight. We understand. It’s not just the fans. We’re sophisticated enough and know enough about this to understand the attributes that he has and he’s a known quantity.”
Of the 16 semifinalists for this year’s award, 13 come from the so-called Big Five conferences. The ones from outside that club are Northern Illinois’ Rod Carey, Fresno State’s Tim DeRuyter and UCF’s George O’Leary.
The only coach among this year’s semifinalists who have previously been named Camp’s Coach of the Year is Urban Meyer, who won the award in 2004 while at Utah.
This year’s finalists will be announced Dec. 3, with the winner being announced Dec. 17. Last year’s winner was Penn State’s Bill O’Brien.
Below, in poll form, are the 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Club Coach of the Year. Vote for the coach you feel is most deserving, or click “Other” and
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