Former USC Great Mike Garrett is an Athletic Director Again, Somehow


After 17 years at the helm of the USC athletic department and a two year exile, Mike Garrett is back in business it appears, as he’s set to assume the athletic director position at Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma, population 1,724. According to The Oklahoman, Garrett will be introduced as the AD on Thursday on the university’s campus.

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Mike Garrett was the most historic athletic director in the history of USC Athletics for a multitude of reasons. He gets credit for finally building an on-campus arena, hiring Pete Carroll,

hiring Rick Majerus

and making basketball a priority at USC for the first time since the Bill Sharman era.

But with his accomplishments, Garrett’s tenure is rightfully tainted by a comedy of errors, including turning the other cheek to the NCAA amidst the Reggie Bush investigations despite taking the fall for the basketball team.

He hired Rick Majerus and Tim Floyd, and was on the clock for the demise of the USC Yell Leaders(the spirit leaders are terrible, and you know it).

It was Mike Garrett that allowed National Championship calibre baseball manager Mike Gillespie to walk and responded with the hiring of Chad Kreuter, taking the most historical baseball program in the country to all-time lows, while Gillespie immediately turned UC Irvine into a baseball powerhouse. (You know, because UCI has that much more capital and clout than USC.)

And of course, Mike Garrett did this all while maintaining a stoic resolve that included calling the NCAA “jealous that they’re not Trojans”.

Now, was Garrett right that the NCAA was over the top in their pursuit of USC over the Bush scandal? In retrospect, yes, to a degree. But had Garrett not let his ego and arrogance get in the way of the university and the actions of the NCAA, there’s no denying that USC would have been in a better position come the spring of 2010.

The irony is that the jealousy now likely resides within the heart of Garrett himself, due to the quick new heights that the Trojans have achieved with a completely new regime, from Max Nikas to Pat Haden to Lane Kiffin. The Trojans are in good hands from top to bottom, something no one could say five to ten years ago, even when Pete Carroll was on top of the world.

So with that, we at Reign of Troy wish Mike Garrett the best of luck at Langston University.

So you’ve never heard of Langston University before? Neither have we. And we doubt that Mike Garrett had either. Langston is the only historically black university in the state of Oklahoma, with an enrollment just under four thousand. And most importantly, the Langston Lions play in the NAIA, so Garrett won’t have to deal with the NCAA, a management style he’s comfortable with.