After a whirlwind Monday, Steve Sarkisian was back at a location that he is quite familiar with. Well, not exactly.
Sarkisian wasn’t a member of USC’s coaching staff when the John McKay Center opened, but USC’s campus is a homecoming for Sarkisian, who is in his fifth stint as a Trojan.
The previous four stops were of varying degrees and responsibilities, including one as a Trojan baseball player.
Pete Carroll attempted to have Sarkisian anointed the head coach-in-waiting, but then athletic director Mike Garrett refused to sign off on it.
Years later, athletic director Pat Haden has at last made Sarkisian the head man of the Trojans.
Haden’s decision has been met with harsh criticism — many pointing to Sarkisian’s uninspiring career record of 34-29 in five seasons as the head coach of the Washington Huskies.
Not exactly the big-name hire many were calling for.
This is the second high-profile hire Haden has made, and the second to be surrounded by frustration.
The other hire was Andy Enfield, who has thus far made Haden’s decision look questionable.
To this point, Haden has endured Enfieldn’s mishaps and survived the loyalty he showed to Lane Kiffin, but his fate will ultimately be decided by Sarkisian.
If Sarkisian is able to lead the Trojans the way Haden believes he can, the overwhelming disapproval of Sarkisian’s return will be looked at in a similar manner that the initial response to Carroll’s arrival now is.
But if Sarkisian is the same 7-6 or 8-4 coach he was at Washington, Haden will likely find himself no longer employed by USC.