While a report surfaced Sunday night that USC’s coaching search had centered on Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Boise State’s Chris Petersen, it appears a head coach at a Pac-12 school is under consideration. Or, at least, he had been under consideration.
According to ESPN.com‘s Brett McMurphy, Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian interviewed for the same position with the Trojans. The interview reportedly took place this weekend, after UW’s win over rival Washington State in the Apple Cup.
Despite the Sarkisian interview, Franklin and Petersen are still viewed as the Trojans’ top two targets. As was the case with his former boss, Sarkisian could be a fallback option.
Sarkisian, who has previously denied interest in the position, at least publicly, has extensive ties to the Trojans and the coach who last led them to greatness. Twice a member of Pete Carroll‘s coaching staffs at USC, Sarkisian spent the 2001-03 and 2005-08 seasons as quarterbacks coach and, his last two seasons, offensive coordinator before moving on to Washington in 2009.
With Sarkisian in charge, the Huskies have been a middle-of-the-road Pac-12 school. After five wins his first season, the Huskies won seven games each of the past three seasons before stepping up to eight wins in 2013. UW has played in the Holiday, Alamo and Maaco bowls, and are in line for another mid-tier bowl game this year as well.
Regardless of who, an announcement on USC’s new coach is expected soon, perhaps no later than this weekend.