History is usually on Fridays but I came across an article today that says Knute Rockne agreed to take the USC job in 1924 because he was fed up with Notre Dame’s failure to build a stadium.
“Many lesser programs than Notre Dame had new stadiums, including USC in Los Angeles, where the 75,000 seat Coliseum helped entice Rockne to agree to leave Notre Dame and coach the Trojans.
“That deal was set to go through in the early spring of 1924 when officials at Notre Dame were leaked details of the secret accord and threatened legal action to enforce Rockne’s contract in South Bend.
“Despite the awkward, failed coup between them, the Irish and USC began their annual intersectional series in 1926. The first five games of that new rivalry attracted more than 450,000 paying customers, an average of more than 90,000 spectators per game, including 115,000 at Soldier Field in Chicago where Notre Dame went to play its biggest home games in order to satiate the demand for tickets.”
The picture above is from 1922, when the Coliseum was still under construction. It opened in 1923. So USC had the state-of-art stadium Rockne desired.
And you thought it was a big deal when USC hired Lincoln Riley.
You might remember in 1950 that USC offered the job to Bear Bryant.
Gloomy Gus Henderson was the coach at USC from 1919-24. Howard Jones took over in 1925.