NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > The Sark Hire...
December 3, 2013, 12:42 PM
So here goes....

I have had a day to digest our hiring of Sark. I like the hire (not love) because Sark is an SC guy. He absolutely see's this as a destination job, which is what I thought we needed. He was able to turn udub around from the depths. Their program was in shambles and he changed the culture there. Those that say he is only an 8 win guy??? Aside from the Don James era, that's pretty much what udub is at its best. Every now and then they can pull a 10 win season and make some noise, but 8-9 win's is normally as good as it gets there. Only so much you can do with primarily 3* kids in one of the big conferences. Don't give me any crap about what Petersen does at boise, they play in a lousy conference.

Recruiting will still do well for us. Sark will be able to sell SC to the 4 and 5* kids who know the program both locially and nationally, and him as the HC. This will give him an advantage he never had at udub. Hopefully the talent, will lead him to a next step as an HC, and that is to compete for Championships. He is bringing in Lupoi with him, who is one of the top young recruiters in the country. Look at how far cal fell when he left, and he did good to bring some damn good kids to udub. Looking forward to seeing what he can do for SC.

Sark is a good, solid hire for us. He knows us, and we know him. Home run hire??? The only real home run would have been Sumlin, and a&m just gave him a big raise to hang around. Anyone who thinks Gruden would have come here is completely delusional. Franklin and Petersen??? Good coaches, but not "home run" hires, and both unknowns to SC. I lobbied for Del Rio, but think he is more pro coach, than college.

On to Coach O. Absolutely LOVE the guy for what he did here. Our program was in shambles, and he definitely righted the ship. After the cardinal win I thought he should have gotten the job. Unfortunately, in the bruin game, we were severely outcoached. Had he gotten the job, it would have been ok with me. Does he have a right to be ticked about not getting the job??? Absolutely. I also think he should have stayed until the bowl, if for no other reason, to show what he could do for other jobs. I wish him luck wherever he goes.
December 3, 2013  01:01 PM ET

If there ever was a reason for Coach O to stay on through the Bowl game, it should be for the players. Now, THAT would have been a classy exit.

December 3, 2013  01:30 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

If there ever was a reason for Coach O to stay on through the Bowl game, it should be for the players. Now, THAT would have been a classy exit.

That's the part that surprised me Tinny. He preached family and togetherness through all the crap our program was going through. So what does he do when he doesn't get the job??? He bails. Not just on the school, but on the kids. I understand his emotion, but like you, thought it would look REALLY good for him to stay on and coach the bowl as a perfect audition for his next job. He obviously thought otherwise.

December 3, 2013  01:37 PM ET

Check out Sark's record at UDub. And as far as O. leaving: come on. He was put in an untenable situation. How's he supposed to go from virtual head coach to second or third banana? He was slapped in the face by Haden.

December 3, 2013  02:49 PM ET

The only way this hire will pan out is with exceptional OC and DC coaching. Just don't see Sark being as good as what ASU or UCLA have and see him on par with the Utah and Zona coaches.

December 3, 2013  02:53 PM ET

Great synopsis, Ice.
The final irony will be if Coach O winds up in a position to recruit against USC and Sark--payback.

December 3, 2013  03:52 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Great synopsis, Ice.The final irony will be if Coach O winds up in a position to recruit against USC and Sark--payback.

Thanks SF. I tried to be objective on this. As I said, I like, but don't love this hire. Same thing can be said when we hired Pete. Actually hated that hire and look how that turned out. My big X factor in all of this, is that this is his dream job. He was raised and played in the area, he know's and loves the school. I also like the fact that he had another HC job and even better, in the same conference. Imagine there are things he learned at udub, that will help him here at SC.

I truly hope Coach O get's a chance with somebody. I can't imagine he gets a HC job in the Pac. Probably only at a smaller school, or lower level in another conference.

December 3, 2013  07:21 PM ET

This may sound like a stupid question but. Did SC offer coach Sark the job before hiring coach Kiffin?

December 3, 2013  08:30 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

This may sound like a stupid question but. Did SC offer coach Sark the job before hiring coach Kiffin?

No, but he was in the conversation.

December 4, 2013  07:50 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

No, but he was in the conversation.

Well goodluck, I have respect for coach Sarkisian, coach Kiffin not so much.

December 4, 2013  10:46 PM ET

Sark is very good for the offense. Best get a darn good D coordinator.

December 5, 2013  09:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

this is his dream job.

So, Kiffin was only dreaming; Sark is realizing the dream. Does that about sum it up?

December 5, 2013  03:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

This may sound like a stupid question but. Did SC offer coach Sark the job before hiring coach Kiffin?

I know Al Davis offers Sark first.

December 5, 2013  03:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

So, Kiffin was only dreaming; Sark is realizing the dream. Does that about sum it up?

Yeah. I can see Sark staying here double digit years. This was probably Lane's ideal college gig, but he still would have eyes on the pro game.

December 5, 2013  07:21 PM ET

My take is not too dissimilar than yours. One thing I would have liked is a 1 or 2 year 'probationary" contract for Coach O. If he could have taken a team with no depth cause they will be at the bottom of the penalty hole (last yr of sanctions) and do well with them... well, we'll never know.

I don't believe there are any 'home run' coaches out there. Personally I'm glad TAMU gave Sumlin a raise, I have seen no defense out of TAMU and frankly Mizou and Baylor have done more with less.

You never know who the next John McKay is; we certainly didn't think it was PC at the time, and his record was no better than Coach O's. IOW's Coach O may have been that HR coach, but we'll never know.

My main beef is the way it was handled. I don't believe Hayden even let CEO interview, and even tho we all came to dislike Kiffin, or at least his coaching, firing him at the airport and not even letting him ride the bus home? USC showed a lack of class on that one, and it's all on Haden; beginning to have my doubts.

BTW, it's a good thing we got (I hope) the 2nd best recruiter, Tosh Lupoi, in the PAC, cause we just lost the first best when Haden dissed Orgeron.

December 5, 2013  07:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

That's the part that surprised me Tinny. He preached family and togetherness through all the crap our program was going through. So what does he do when he doesn't get the job??? He bails. Not just on the school, but on the kids. I understand his emotion, but like you, thought it would look REALLY good for him to stay on and coach the bowl as a perfect audition for his next job. He obviously thought otherwise.

Yeah, but... have you ever been so angry and bitter about something that you knew it would be bad for all involved to be around?

I have, and I stayed away from my real family (not wife and kids, parents and siblings) for a year or two not 'cause I was mad but because I knew I would say and do stuff to cause irreperable damage if I was around. Maybe, just maybe, CEO has a similar view...

December 5, 2013  10:07 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Yeah, but... have you ever been so angry and bitter about something that you knew it would be bad for all involved to be around?I have, and I stayed away from my real family (not wife and kids, parents and siblings) for a year or two not 'cause I was mad but because I knew I would say and do stuff to cause irreperable damage if I was around. Maybe, just maybe, CEO has a similar view...

I hear ya Troy. I really do. My take on that part though, Coach O has stated MANY times over, how much he loved SC, and always wanted to be here. Whenever he was asked about being the permanent guy, he said he would take it week by week, and knew there were no guarantees.

Do I blame him for being pissed??? Not one damn bit. Can't think of anyone who wouldn't have felt that way. The part that surprised me though, was that with all the talk about taking care of the kids, being there for the team, when it didn't go his way, he bailed. A complete opposite of what he talked about the previous 2 months. Not saying I don't understand what he did, and why he did it, just kinda surprised me.

December 5, 2013  10:15 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

My take is not too dissimilar than yours. One thing I would have liked is a 1 or 2 year 'probationary" contract for Coach O. If he could have taken a team with no depth cause they will be at the bottom of the penalty hole (last yr of sanctions) and do well with them... well, we'll never know.I don't believe there are any 'home run' coaches out there. Personally I'm glad TAMU gave Sumlin a raise, I have seen no defense out of TAMU and frankly Mizou and Baylor have done more with less.You never know who the next John McKay is; we certainly didn't think it was PC at the time, and his record was no better than Coach O's. IOW's Coach O may have been that HR coach, but we'll never know.My main beef is the way it was handled. I don't believe Hayden even let CEO interview, and even tho we all came to dislike Kiffin, or at least his coaching, firing him at the airport and not even letting him ride the bus home? USC showed a lack of class on that one, and it's all on Haden; beginning to have my doubts.BTW, it's a good thing we got (I hope) the 2nd best recruiter, Tosh Lupoi, in the PAC, cause we just lost the first best when Haden dissed Orgeron.

I always thought Coach O should have been given a 3 year deal to see how things could turn out with him as the HC. That would have given everyone, ample time to see if he could be the permanent guy. Would have been interesting to see what he could have done with full classes.

It wasn't ideal how Kiffin got let go, I agree. Problem is, the environment got to be REALLY bad around the program. From players, to coaches, to other staff, the way Lane was running things just was not going well at all. That being said, Haden made the tough call to let him go when he did, and I think it was the right move.

With Sarkisian, Lupoi, and Tee Martin on our staff, that gives us 3 of the best damn recruiters in the country. Sark and Lupoi will hold down the West Coast, Coach Tee keeps us relevant in the South. Sark is going to tweak the offense. I really like the way things are shaping up. FIGHT ON!!!

December 6, 2013  11:43 AM ET

"because Sark is an SC guy."

So was Laney... just saying.

I dont think Sark = Lane. But Sark did NOT have monstrous success at UW. And seemed to have stagnated recently.

In general, I agree with you. It's an ok hire, not a great one. And for a school with the tradition, funds etc of USC, that seems kinda disappointing.

December 6, 2013  11:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

That's the part that surprised me Tinny. He preached family and togetherness through all the crap our program was going through. So what does he do when he doesn't get the job??? He bails. Not just on the school, but on the kids. I understand his emotion, but like you, thought it would look REALLY good for him to stay on and coach the bowl as a perfect audition for his next job. He obviously thought otherwise.

Agree 100%. It was almost like he felt ENTITLED to the job and that there shouldnt even have been a search. I found his response kind of odd.

 
December 6, 2013  11:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Check out Sark's record at UDub. And as far as O. leaving: come on. He was put in an untenable situation. How's he supposed to go from virtual head coach to second or third banana? He was slapped in the face by Haden.

He goes about his business THROUGH the bowl game then quietly resigns rather than throwing a public tantrum?

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