Coaching carousel turns for Mike Bohn

It’s far too early to predict who will become USC’s next head coach. The season has two games. The performance of the teams will shape the decisions that candidates for coaching must make. It would be highly unlikely that a rental would be made anytime soon; early December is usually when these things happen.

We could be in a three month wait. USC is not in a position where it MUST be hiring someone at this time. Donte Williams will lead that team for the remainder of the regular season, which will shape his own future and could decide whether he is retained by the new head coach. We will see.

So much is uncertain. So many twists and turns likely to emerge.

This is a FIRST LOOK. This is NOT a final verdict or a formal recommendation on who Mike Bohn should choose as his USC football coach.

We will definitely go into the pros and cons of various top candidates. We are not going to solve all these questions here and now… but it will happen on Tuesday at Trojans Wire.

Here, we’re going to give you an overview of the landscape and give you an idea of ​​how the coaching search might go:


When a sports director is considering hiring for a high-level position such as a USC football coach, the DA has to deny the position to a few people. This does not mean that candidates are likely to accept the position. In fact, applicants are often likely to reject the job … but the DA still needs to make the call and make sure the candidate has absolutely no interest in the job. If the candidate has a low level of interest, the AD can and should pursue a possible sales pitch.


  • Chris Petersen
  • Bob bends over
  • Gary Patterson
  • Luc Fickell
  • Matt campbell

The five men might say to Bohn, “No thanks,” but that’s the shortlist in the order of the phone calls. Petersen is a master of rebuilding the Western program, having done so in Boise State and Washington. I think he’s done coaching. I think he wants family time and wouldn’t like Los Angeles… but Bohn has to call him and force him to say no.

I think Bob Stoops is in a similar position. I think he doesn’t want to be chewed on by the coaching profession anymore and has given up on it for good… but Bohn has to ask if that’s true. If Stoops wants to come back, Bohn would be foolish not to pursue this possibility.

Gary Patterson made the TCU one of the top three teams in the country and a Rose Bowl champion in the 2010 season. He is the author of several regular unbeaten seasons at the TCU. He almost made it to the 2014 college football playoffs. He’s the least talked about best coach in America. He is in his early 60s and is said to have the ability and stamina to train USC. I think he stays at TCU because he loves it, but Bohn should give him a kick.

Fickell is known to Bohn for their shared days in Cincinnati. The serious candidate is most likely to say yes. That doesn’t mean he’s likely to say yes – he might want a coaching job at Big Ten – but he’s far more likely than Petersen, Stoops and Patterson to take the job at USC.

Matt Campbell looks a lot like Fickell. A lot of people think that, like Fickell, he wants to stay in the Midwest and get a bigger job there. It’s not guaranteed, however, so Bohn should go Fickell first, Campbell second.


  • Luc Fickell
  • Matt campbell
  • James franklin
  • Joe moorhead
  • Tony Elliott
  • Bill o’brien
  • PJ Fleck

As stated above, I think there’s little to no chance that Petersen, Stoops, or Patterson will say yes. These guys might say yes. Fickell and Campbell may want to upgrade to an elite program. James Franklin may want a change of scenery and have a chance to escape Ohio State every year.

Joe Moorhead is too good a coach not to land another big job. USC could also take him away from Oregon and gain value just for that reason, but he would obviously have to make sure Moorhead had a good defense plan and would learn from his missteps as the coach of the ‘State of Mississippi.

Tony Elliott was mentioned by Bruce Feldman. He is a longtime assistant to Dabo Swinney at Clemson. He taught Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence how to play quarterback. Yeah, I’d say it’s a good way to keep elite QBs in USC, and not let them go to Clemson, Alabama, or Ohio State.

Bill O’Brien could be Pete Carroll’s fourth pick for USC. That fourth pick worked well in 2000. Personally, I don’t like O’Brien as a USC coach, but he was mentioned.

Fleck might feel ready for a USC-wide position.


  • Willie Fritz
  • Alex grinch
  • Joe brady
  • Jim Leonhard
  • Brent Venables
  • Pete kwiatkowski

These candidates are not discussed for the post, and Bohn should certainly go through the other lists mentioned above first. Still, if various contestants say no and Bohn needs to go down the list more than he expected, these six guys above are superb X-and-O tacticians on their side of the ball. If they brought in a strong, quality coordinator on the other side of the ball, USC could have a perfectly good situation, even if the composition of the coaching staff would be different from what many people expect. .

This is all very preliminary, but it’s a first look at the superstars, realistic candidates, and quirky choices that are all part of a search for coaching at USC or any other great program.

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