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Steve Sarkisian Named New USC Head Coach

The Torrance native most recently worked as the head coach for the University of Washington.

Former University of Washington coach Steve Sarkisian will be the next head coach of USC's football team, the school announced Monday.

Sarkisian is a former USC offensive coordinator and was hired as an offensive assistant by USC in 2001 under coordinator Norm Chow. He was the quarterbacks coach from 2002-2003 before leaving briefly for the NFL. He then returned to Troy where he served as an assistant head coach from 2005 to 2008.

"We are delighted to welcome Steve Sarkisian back to the Trojan Family,” said USC athletic director Pat Haden in a statement.  “We conducted a very exhaustive and thorough search, pinpointing about 20 candidates and interviewing five of them.  We kept coming back to Sark.  He is the only one who was offered the job.  I believe in my gut that he is the right coach for USC at this time."
Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was among the candidates interviewed, as was former interim coach Ed Orgeron, who guided the Trojans to a 6-2 record following former coach Lane Kiffin's dismissal five games into the 2013 season. Orgeron resigned from his position when told he would not receive the job full time.

"Ed (Orgeron) is one of the greatest Trojans ever and we thank him for all he has done for the program," Haden said. "He and I had a very open and frank discussion. He understandably was disappointed when I told him we were going in a different direction. We talked about the possibility of him remaining at USC, but Ed wants to be a head coach and I am supportive of that."

Both Sarkisian and Kiffin are disciples of former USC coach Pete Carroll. Sarkisian maintains a relationship with both Carroll and Kiffin to this day.

The University of Washington hired Sarkisian in 2008 with a reported contract of $1.75 million per year. During his tenure, he led the previously-winless Huskies to a 34-29 record (24-21 in Pac-12 play) in five seasons.

"I am extremely excited to be coming home to USC and for the opportunity that USC presents to win championships," said Sarkisian. "I can't wait to get started."

Sarkisian is from Torrance, Calif., and played quarterback at Brigham Young University from 1995-1996.

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