Newly hired USC head coach Steve Sarkisian gave a short statement to reporters after his meeting with the team Monday night, saying of his return to Los Angeles, “The fifth time is the charm.”
Sarkisian played baseball at USC briefly before transferring to El Camino College. He returned in 2001 an offensive assistant under Pete Carroll. His third appearance was as the quarterbacks coach in 2005 after a stint with the Raiders. Presumably, he counts his turning down of the Raiders to stay at USC as the offensive coordinator in 2007 as his fourth go around with USC.
“It’s awesome to be home.” Sarkisian said. “It’s been obviously an emotional day or so for the players here, for myself, for my former team and those kids in Seattle. A lot has gone on but it’s awesome to be back and I’m fired up to be here.”
Pat Haden said on his way out of the McKay Center that Sarkisian “hit it off really well with the kids” in his first meeting, according to Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News.
Players echoed that sentiment.
“It was serious at first, obviously guys are bummed out about the news earlier this morning but I felt like it ended real well,” freshman quarterback Max Browne said. “I felt like guys walked out of their with a positive vibe ready to go to work these upcoming few weeks for the bowl game.”
Brown also noted something that Sarkisian brought up himself when he asked all the players who had been recruited by him to raise their hand.
“Back in the day coach Sark was the first guy to offer me, three and a half years ago, so it’s kind crazy how the world works.”