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Pete Carroll speaks highly of former USC Coach Steve Sarkisian

USC is searching for an athletic director to replace Pat Haden.

Cross Pete Carroll’s name off the list of potential candidates.

Asked Thursday at the NFL scouting combine if he had any interest in the job, Carroll said: “I do not. Thank you.”

Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks, said he spoke with former Trojans Coach Steve Sarkisian a few weeks ago. Sarkisian, who coached under Carroll as an assistant at USC, was fired as the Trojans head coach in October. He filed a lawsuit against USC in December, claiming that Haden had fired him instead of allowing him to seek treatment for alcoholism.

Carroll said Sarkisian would return to coaching.

“I’m sure when Steve’s ready to do it, he’ll get back,” Carroll said. “He’s a fantastic coach, and like a lot of people go through some issues in their lives, he’s working through it now and getting himself ready and right to get back to compete again.

“I’ve always felt really highly of his coaching ability.”

Asked if he would like to put him on his staff, Carroll said: “I’m not going to go there right now.”

Carroll said Sarkisian was “working really hard and he’s doing well and making progress.”

His next step would be a return to coaching, Carroll said.

“He’s got to get back to work. When he’s ready to do that, he’s got to get back to work, and I’m sure he’d like to do that sooner than later.”

Twitter: @LATimesklein

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