The USC coaching search is far from over, but via CBS NFL reporter Jason La Canfora, we're starting to get a feel for the range of candidates Trojans athletic director Pat Haden has in mind. La Canfora reports USC has already interviewed former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. USC also reportedly has former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden and current Washington coach Steve Sarkisian on its list.
From La Canfora:
Early last month, Smith's son, who serves as his agent, denied a report that an interview with USC had taken place at that time, but, according to a source, the school has spoken with Smith. USC is not commenting on the process.
However, Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reached out to Smith, who denied La Canfora's report:
Smith, 55, had assistant-coaching stints at Tulsa, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio State before moving to the NFL. He took the Bears to Super Bowl XLI following the 2006 season, and he was fired after a 10-6 campaign in 2012.
Smith last served in the college ranks back in 1995. USC will likely consider a number of other candidates before eventually settling on a replacement for Lane Kiffin, who was fired in an airport terminal after the Trojans' 62-41 loss to Arizona State on Sept. 28. Since being named the interim coach on Sept. 29, Ed Orgeron has led USC to a 3-1 record with wins over Arizona, Utah and Oregon State. The Trojans will carry a 6-3 record into their game against Cal next Saturday.