A source told ESPN that University of Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian interviewed with USC athletic director Pat Haden over the weekend about the Trojans’ head coaching vacancy. Sarkisian completed an 8-4 regular season Friday with a 27-17 victory over Washington State in the Apple Cup.
Acccording to the report, Vanderbilt coach James Franklin and Boise State’s Chris Peterson are the frontrunners for the job to replace Lane Kiffin, and that the search for his successor might be concluded this week.
Interviewed on KJR radio this morning, Sarkisian confirmed there was contact from USC, but “I didn’t interview for the job,” he said. “They reached out to me, and I talked to them, but I’m not anywhere in the course of taking that job.
“I continue to say I’ve got a great job at Washington.”
Asked whether he would have more talks with USC, he said, “I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’ve tried to not talk about hypotheticals.”
Sarkisian, who is 34-29 in five seasons at Washington, has made the Huskies bowl eligible in each of the past four years. The eight wins compiled by Washington this season are the most since 2001. The Huskies await next weekend’s game outcomes to learn of their bowl invitation.
Sarkisian worked as an assistant at USC under Pete Carroll. During that time, the Trojans went 74-15, including 22-3 when Sarkisian was the offensive coordinator. Sarkisian tutored two Heisman Trophy winners, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, at USC.
USC has also made it known to interim coach Ed Orgeron that the school values his contribution and would like him to stay in some capacity.