Pat Haden Didn’t Hire Some Good Coaches

Do you remember when Pat Haden hired Andy Enfield as USC basketball coach, the other finalist was Mike Hopkins?

Hopkins eventually went to Washington. In his first season, the Huskies upset No. 2-ranked Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. What is Enfield’s signature win? Has he even played a top 5 team on the road?

Washington is currently 19-5 overall and 10-1 in the Pac-12. Not bad considering USC has a newer arena, better location and better weather than Washington.

Haden was so impressed with Hopkins’ plan to hire Jason Hart and Tony Bland as assistant coaches, he told Enfield to do it.

Someone will no doubt defend Enfield by mentioning he has the No. 2-ranked recruiting class for 2019. But how good will they actually be in his no-discipline system? How has Kevin Porter Jr. done?

Washington is happy, of course, that two guys Haden didn’t hire (Chris Petersen, Hopkins) are now leading their top two sports.


22 thoughts on “Pat Haden Didn’t Hire Some Good Coaches

  1. Haden promoted that loser from ucla Jeff Nygaard to Coach Men Volleyball along with Dan Hubbs for Baseball. His class is way over-rated.


  2. Better location for recruiting and weather, not necessarily a better location or campus. UW is a great place to be a student and their football stadium on lake Washington is awesome. Worth the road trip.

    Like all college campuses, the parking is terrible.


    1. Brumby,

      It is better to take a boat at Washington U than to drive in. The boats park right in front of the stadium. I took a bus one time to a game up there from downtown and it was fast and easy. Good people and nice stadium at Wash. U.


  3. I’m still scratching my head as to who initiated the hiring of Pat Haden, and Lynn Swann? I hope the new University President comes from a school that’s has a deep sports history, and takes control of this sinking ship

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Max Nikias wanted well known faces who would help with fundraising. He totally ignored whether they had any administrative skill or the ability to be an athletic director.

      Look around USC and you’ll see other examples. The music department and the business school have had recent incidents where good department leaders were forced out to bring in people who don’t know how to run an academic department but were more amenable to “the powers that be.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Hitting Like button!” On the money!!

        There are over 4,000 signatures on a petition to have Jim Ellis reinstated as Dean of the b-school.


    2. The story that goes swept under the USC rug.

      Who hired those two “USC Greats” ?
      I bet they don’t remember what street the Coliseum is on anymore. They need google maps.


  4. Fred is right again. It’s the bozos who hired Haden and Swann with no AD experience who are at fault. The best solution with a new President is to hire the UW AD. You weaken a direct rival, and you get an AD who made great hires for football and basketball.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another skewed story on Enfield. This team has not been healthy- especially at the beginning of the season, when the team should’ve been building chemistry and gelling together, and has never really recovered. Now, if he can’t win with next year’s recruits, he should probably step down.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh give me a f***ing break.

    So is USC now a basketball school?

    Then why is this relevant to us?

    By the way………..

    USC has made 2 NCAA Tournaments under Andy Enfield and last year they were considered the school who was robbed and deserving of being in the tournament.

    Randy Johnson has to dislike you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No fan of Haden but, Sam is right USC is NOT a basketball school, also Enfield is not a bad hire….as to Hubbs…very 1st thing Haden did was get rid of that clown Chad Krueter. Savage was wooed by USC to return as the baseball coach but he declined.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Based on Enfelds accomplishments he was a flashy hire at the time based on Florida Gulf Coasts success. What in his accomplishments at USC are so great? He has had some talent but hardly ever wins big games


      2. I think Enfield will be ok. He had too many injuries early but I can’t lie that his team has been disappointing this season. Bit next year the roster will be tough and the freshman will push the team from the start. Hubbs hasn’t shown me that he can be successful while Stanford continues to be effective as a private school in baseball we have no excuse for being last in the Pac12 back to back seasons. We’ll see. Friday is the opener.


    Haaaaaaaa!!!! “INSIDE”………(😂😂😂😂😂😂) likes reporting on basketball.
    But he never mentioned that the USC Women’s Basketball Team’s recruiting class signed 4 players in the ESPN100.
    Three of which are rated as 5-Star players.

    That’s not inside but it beats “Inside USC”

    Haaaaaaaa!!!!! “Inside”
    More like “Inside Del Taco”


  8. USC hasn’t had many actual experienced athletic directors. John McKay was athletic director for a while, as was the football coach prior to his stint as coach. If you look it up I think you will find only two actual athletic directors.
    The problem is self defeating because they have control but don’t know how much control they have.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As long as Max Nikias is still living in USC’s president house nothing is going to change…USC will remain dysfunctional.

    Found this update online regarding USC’s search for a new president

     The Dysfunction of USC

    The hits keep on coming at the University of Southern California. The football program just experienced its first losing season since 2000 and then hit its lowest recruiting class ranking since the beginning of the internet era. For the past two years, the university as a whole has been hit by controversies and scandals.

    There is some good news. While not foolproof, there is a path for USC to return to its status as one of the greatest universities in the nation, both academically and athletically.

    However, there is some bad news: USC has muddled that clear path in a way only this school is capable of. The return to prestige at USC starts at the top and from there, a waterfall of solutions may become glaringly obvious.

    After an eight-year tenure that involved countless controversies and scandals, Ex-President C. L. Max Nikias agreed to step down in his current role in late May 2018. He ultimately left his post on August 7, 2018 in an announcement made by Rick Caruso, who at the time was just two months into his post as chair of the Board of Trustees. In the same announcement of the immediate resignation of Nikias, Dr. Wanda M. Austin was appointed the role as Interim President of USC in what seemed to be a safe and uncontroversial move by the university.

    The Board of Trustees announced, at the same time, they would be using Isaacson Miller and Heidrick & Struggles, two of the top recruitment firms in the education industry both domestically and internationally. The school had also indicated the timeline for the presidential search would ideally finish within four to six months. The university is now entering the seventh month of its search and no president has been named. Two leading names — Northwestern’s Morton O. Schapiro and Northeastern’s Joseph E. Aoun — were added to the short list last month. Finalization of choosing the next president seemed to be on its way.

    Here’s a look at those candidates:

    Morton O. Schapiro

    Starting his current tenure at Northwestern on September 1, 2009, Morton O. Schapirohas 18 years of presidential experience behind him after his presidential stint at Williams College lasted 9 years. From 1991 until 1994, Schapiro was the chairman for the Department of Economics at USC. He then took over as dean of the USC’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences in 1994. His tenure at USC concluded when he was hired away by Williams College in 2000 to become their president.

    Needless to say, Schapiro has experience.

    Northwestern hired Jim Phillips away from Northern Illinois in 2008 to be their athletic director. The hire was not made by Schapiro, but he has retained Phillips throughout his presidency. It was reported last year that Phillips is the second highest paid athletic director in the nation, only behind Notre Dame’s Jack Swarbrick. At USC, it is familiar that paying top dollar does not always represent top results, however, Phillips has warranted his salary and clearly Schapiro understands the investment and its worth to the university; Schapiro is, after all, an economics guy.

    Although not considered a storied athletics program by many, Northwestern is entirely committed to making themselves competitive. After four consecutive trips to the NIT for their basketball team and an 11th place finish in the Big Ten in 2013, Schapiro and Phillips moved away from coach Bill Carmody, and immediately went for long-time Duke assistant Chris Collins. They hired a new coach in 11 days and despite a rough couple seasons to start his tenure, Collins led Northwestern to its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2016-2017. It may seem insignificant, but in reality it’s important to see that Schapiro helped to enable an athletics program to punch above its weight class. Time and time again he has proved that they were able to.

    In mid-April 2018, Northwestern unveiled the Big Ten’s most expensive football facilities, again proving Schapiro understands the importance of high achievement in athletics for a school as a whole. At the helm of their football team, hard-nosed and disciplined Pat Fitzgerald has become the winningest coach in school history during Schapiro’s time as president.

    Academically, Schapiro has helped increase Northwestern’s U.S. News national university ranking from 14 to 10 during his tenure. Northwestern is a much smaller school than USC, but it is clear Schapiro is clearly qualified academically and athletically to help bring USC the discipline and structure they need to return to their former status.

    Joseph E. Aoun

    After starting as Northeastern University’s president in August 2006, Joseph E. Aoun has helped increase its U.S. News national university ranking by more than 54 positions. The school was ranked right around 100 at the start of his tenure. It has shot up year after year until settling around 40 recently. No other school has come close to seeing those kinds of changes in the last two decades.

    The Northeastern football program played their final season in 2009. It is important to understand Northeastern is no blue blood when it comes to football. They are in the heart of Boston with a stadium that was not selling out despite only holding 7,000 fans. Alongside logistical issues, the Huskies played in the FCS where it was more than likely becoming more expensive to operate than what it was ultimately worth.

    Northeastern would consider hockey to be their football. Being a part of the Beanpot tournament (a Boston hockey tournament between Northeastern, Boston University, Boston College, and Harvard) shows hockey is incredibly important to the school, although they have traditionally been the weakest of the four. After mediocre results and possible recruiting violations from the coach Aoun inherited, in 2011 the school and Greg Croninparted ways leading to another athletic hire. The school settled on Jim Madigan, a long-time Northeastern player and coach who had no ties to other universities. From the time he started hockey at Northeastern until now, he has only ever been at Northeastern. (He has produced fairly decent results in his time, including Northeastern’s fifth Beanpot tournament championship.)

    Men’s basketball coach Ron Everhartresigned during Aoun’s first year at the helm, moving on to another head coaching position at Duquesne. Northeastern’s hiring process landed them with a long-time assistant, Bill Coen, coming from Boston College. Coen has since been with Northeastern for 13 years. He has led the Huskies to just over a .500 win percentage.

    Northeastern’s athletic director Peter Robyresigned just over a year ago, sparking an interview process for Aoun to conduct. He landed on Jeff Konya, who came from Oakland University where he won the Under Armor NACDA Athletic Director of the Year award. Konya came in with almost two decades of athletic administration experience.

    Northeastern may not be a blue blood of sorts in any sport, but that its football program was shut down by no means ensures Aoun would plan to ruin USC athletics, if offered the position. Aoun was previously the dean of Dornsife during his time at USC after he worked his way up the ladder, working in various different avenues, from 1982 until 2006 when offered the top job at Northeastern.

    More Conflict

    There are clearly pros and cons to each candidate, assuming Schapiro and Aoun are the two most likely candidates for USC, and the final decision must consider those. Academically, both candidates are clearly capable of creating a strong foundation, but athletically their experiences vary, for better or for worse.

    It is possible a decision on the future USC president could have been made already, but the timeline for the search may have taken a hit because of one more bit of controversy for the university. 

    Back in early December it was announced that Dr. Wanda Austin, who was expected to be a figurehead of stability during the tumultuous time, had asked Jim Ellis to leave his role as the dean of the Marshall School of Business. What has ensued over the last couple of months is only something USC is capable of. The Board of Trustees has erupted with internal conflict while seemingly anyone that knows Ellis has backed his behavior as dean.

    Austin’s firing of Ellis was highly controversial and mostly came at the advice of an outsider report, the Cooley Report, which was not made available to the public, or even Ellis. There have been mixed summaries given about what the report truly entails while many on the Board of Trustees (who had to come to campus in the middle of their days to read the report in person) claim that the report gives no concrete approval for Ellis being removed. The original ruling by Austin was seemingly based on a report by USC’s Office of Equity and Diversity (OED) that alluded to issues throughout Marshall, but only 10 percent of which reports ever made it to Ellis’ office so that he could handle accordingly. During Ellis’ tenure, parity among genders in both the undergraduate and graduate schools have reached equality for the first time in the school’s history. The complaints against Ellis include allegations of race and gender discrimination with over ten years of complaints.

    The real issue for USC is how and why things came to this internal conflict. Marshall students, staff and alumni have almost unanimously supported Ellis and claim there were no such issues of discrimination happening throughout the school. The other interesting aspect of Austin’s decision is that Jim Ellis is to remain the dean until the end of the school year. If such pressing issues of discrimination warranted the firing of a tenured staff member, wouldn’t it be in the best interest of the school to move away from him immediately? Yet, he is being allowed to stay for the remainder of the spring semester.

    USC’s 82-member Board of Trustees is filled with billionaires, CEOs and brilliant minds in a variety of industries. So why did they approve Austin’s decision in the subsequent BOT meeting despite the public outcry? In recent weeks. former BOT chairman Ed Roski called out Caruso, the current and relatively newly instated chairman, for his mishandling of the meeting as a whole. It has been alleged Caruso abused his power in this meeting to silence the other board members who had a differing opinion about the dismissal of Ellis. One such board member was Ming Hsieh,who was one of the few board members to come to USC to examine the Cooley Report. While Roski’s letter eventually turned into a racial and inequality issue, the initial points of his letter to Caruso still hold.

    Roski is an experienced chairman of the board. He understands the professionalism required to run meetings like this. Caruso chose to enforce one minute and 30 second talking rule for anyone that had anything to say to try to run the meeting properly. According to letters from Roski and Hsieh, Caruso did not abide by the rule and then allegedly quieted Hsieh from speaking and forced him to leave the meeting room until it was time to vote on the matter. Many on the board are now questioning the authority of Caruso as the chair of the board and have asked for him to step down.

    The conflicts run deep at USC and this all connects. While it is the Board of Trustees job to hire the next full time president, Caruso’s backing of Austin’s controversial decision with Ellis begets some questions as does his treatment of fellow Board of Trustee members.

    Now What?

    The seemingly simple solution to USC’s dysfunction has been muddled by the mess amongst the Board of Trustees. However, all hope is not lost.

    USC has two very capable presidential options currently that could return to the Trojan Family. For far too long USC has continually shot itself in the foot and made issues worse. At some point, all of the dominoes must come falling down.

    Should the Board of Trustees figure out their disputes and possibly find a new chairman of the board, it is entirely plausible the billionaires and CEOs in that room can figure out how to bring stability back to USC. Dozens have done it with their own companies and all of their donations combined reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars, indicating the importance of USC to them. Beyond the board, there are hundreds of thousands of prideful USC alumni that would love to see their university return to its former glory.

    It all starts at the top.

    Fix the bickering amongst the Board of Trustees. Do what needs to be done. If Caruso needs to be kicked out, do it. If they can work it out with him at the head, do that instead. If Ellis needs to be reinstated for that to happen, let it happen. If he needs to be relieved, then so be it. Come to a consensus and work it out. Then analyze the candidates that Isaacson Miller and Heidrick & Struggles have helped to find. Interview them and ensure their vision for the future of the schools means what is best for the school as a whole. No more figureheads. The university needs a president that is not afraid to shake things up. If tearing the whole thing down to rebuild it right is necessary, then so be it. It would be hard for the university to bring any more negative publicity to itself than it already has.

    The right president will evaluate the major decisions Lynn Swann has made during his short tenure and decide if that is the way they want the athletic department to be run going forward. Someone like Schapiro, the economic-minded president, will understand the simplicities of what it means for USC to be successful in the revenue sports of basketball and football. That type of president will ensure that butts are in seats and USC is relevant again. Get the athletic programs what they need. If it is nicer facilities, get a donor to donate. If it is making a coaching change and hiring one of the top coaches in the nation, go out and get him.

    USC is in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the greatest cities in the world where it feels like summer all year long. The Trojans have storied athletic programs and have accomplished some of the greatest academic and athletic achievements anyone can imagine. People always say USC recruits itself. It does as long as USC does not get in the way of itself. The school will bring in a capable president and one domino at a time, it is very possible USC will be right back where it needs to be.

    Until then, the Trojan hopeful should just continue to Fight On.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. If Pat Haden followed the advice I gave to Jerry and Elaine years ago, and did the exact opposite of every single decision he made, USC sports would be in a much better place.

    Liked by 1 person

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