Interim Coach Ed Orgeron Riding High At USC

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Ed Orgeron celebrates USC's first win at Oregon State since 2004. (Don Ryan/AP)
Ed Orgeron celebrates USC's first win at Oregon State since 2004. (Don Ryan/AP)

When former USC head coach Lane Kiffin was fired in late September, Ed Orgeron was named interim head coach. Nobody expected Orgeron to be considered for the permanent job, until the Trojans won five of their first six games under "Coach O." Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times has been following the Trojan's season and search for a new coach.

"Absolutely, [Orgeron] wants the job," Klein told Only A Game. "He's been around that program for a long time, dating back to even before Pete Carroll arrived and resurrected that program. He would like nothing more than to get that 'interim' tag removed and become the full time coach."

USC is reportedly willing to pay $6 million to the man who leads their program.

Orgeron is the only interim coach under consideration for Maxwell Club Coach of the Year honors, but the Trojans are interviewing other candidates, including Jack Del Rio, interim head coach of the NFL's Denver Broncos.

This is not Orgeron's first college head coaching experience. He had a three year stint at Ole Miss, but that ended in disaster.

"[Ole Miss] was his first experience as a head coach," Klein said. "He kind of went in there like a bull in the china shop and put his personality on that program. I think he found out, and everyone found out, that that does not work. At his root, Ed Orgeron will admit he's a defensive line coach. But he has learned things, not only from Pete Carroll but also from Lane Kiffin — in terms of what not to do. And I think he's reaping the benefits now."

The Trojans will end their regular season on November 30 against UCLA. Klein believes the outcome of the game could make or break Orgeron's chance to be head coach.

"If Orgeron can defeat UCLA, I just think the ground swell for him to get the job is going to immense. And if he doesn't do that, I think most people will be able to look at his resume at USC and say, 'Well, he didn't beat Notre Dame, he didn't beat UCLA, so he can't be the guy.' But if he does, it's going to get really interesting."

In the meantime, former UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel and Orgeron's former boss Lane Kiffin have come out in support of Coach O.

This segment aired on November 23, 2013.


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