USC Trojans

USC athletic director search reportedly “into the homestretch”

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 24: USC President Carol Folt speaks onstage during the Transformative Medicine of USC: Rebels with a Cause GALA at on October 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC)
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 24: USC President Carol Folt speaks onstage during the Transformative Medicine of USC: Rebels with a Cause GALA at on October 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC) /
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The months-long search for a new USC athletic director has reached “the homestretch,” according to reports on Wednesday.

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Could the search for a new USC athletic director finally be at its end?

That’s what Bruce Feldman of the Athletic seemed to indicate on Wednesday when he tweeted an update on the Trojans quest to replace Lynn Swann and usher in a new era of USC athletics.

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“Hearing that the USC AD search has picked up speed and appears to be headed into the homestretch,” Feldman tweeted.

That sense was backed up by a report from Adam Maya of The Maven, who referenced sources indicating USC “could make a hire by the end of November.” Maya added that Villanova’s Mark Jackson, a former USC administrator, is no longer under consideration.

Swann resigned on September 9, leaving the Trojans with interim athletic director Dave Roberts in charge for going on two months.

The urgency around installing a new AD will only ramp up as football season continues. Roberts may not have the power to make a call on head coach Clay Helton, whose football team stands at 5-3 on the season with a tenuous grasp on a potential Pac-12 South division title. If things go poorly for the Trojans in the final month of the season (or even if they don’t), a decision will need to be made as to whether Helton will be given a fifth year in charge of the program.

With the early signing period looming large in mid-December, the new AD will face a ticking clock as soon as they take the job, whether that be at the start of November or the end of it.

As for who will ultimately step up to lead USC out of a tumultuous period, that is still shrouded in mystery.

Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports proposed USC’s associate AD Steve Lopes, a move which would no doubt fail to encourage USC fans looking for outside perspective.

Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports put forward former Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley in an article, suggesting the man who hired Urban Meyer in the Swamp would “be open to discussing the job.”

Bruce Feldman himself floated the likes of Colorado’s Rick George, Oregon’s Rob Mullens, Washington’s Jen Cohen and Washington State’s Pat Chun as “names to keep an eye on.”

At the very least, it seems the revelation will come sooner than later.

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