Ed Orgeron tried to be Pete Carroll.
When he left
It did not go as planned.
"Some of them worked and some of them did not," said Orgeron, who compiled a 10-25 record. "I thought about it long and hard, waiting for my shot again. I really evaluated myself."
Orgeron now has an opportunity to show what he learned. On Sunday, USC Athletic Director Pat Haden fired
The gravelly voiced Louisiana native, the Trojans' defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator, takes over a team that is 3-2 overall and 0-2 in the
Carroll told reporters Monday that Orgeron would "do great."
"Ed has been through enough as a head coach and he's got a real way about him that resonates," said Carroll, who left USC to become coach of the
Orgeron, 52, is accustomed to making adjustments. Since returning to USC as part of Kiffin's staff in January 2010, he has lived in a hotel room across the street from campus. His wife and three sons live in Louisiana, and he returns home when he can.
During a news conference Sunday, Orgeron spoke of providing "energy" and "excitement" to the job and the sideline, welcome news for Trojans fans distressed about Kiffin's seeming preoccupation with a laminated play-call sheet.
USC has an open date this week, so players and fans will get their first dose of Orgeron as head coach on the night of Oct. 10, against
Don't expect "over the top, rah-rah" from Orgeron, former Trojans defensive lineman
"Once you are in charge of an entire team and an entire coaching staff, you have a different perspective," said Jackson, an
However, Orgeron remains fiery after nearly three decades in coaching.
Haden said he was "blown away" observing Orgeron putting players through their paces during practice a few weeks ago.
"The passion that Ed had coaching defensive linemen through that same stupid bag drill he's run for 27 years, it's just incredible, " Haden said.
Senior Devon Kennard has played defensive end and linebacker for the Trojans. He does not anticipate Orgeron changing his style much now that he is overseeing the entire team.
"Coach O is Coach O," he said. "He's going to bring energy that a lot of guys aren't used to. ... I'm excited for everybody to feel what we feel in the D-line room."
Orgeron said there would be differences.
"Being the head coach, you can't do the same things you do as an assistant," he said. "You have to choose what you do and what you say."
Orgeron worked at Northwestern State, McNeese State,
Carroll kept Orgeron on staff in 2001 and also made him the recruiting coordinator as the Trojans built the foundation for their return to prominence.
Orgeron left for Mississippi after the Trojans defeated Oklahoma in the 2005
While at Tennessee, he had a star turn of sorts when he appeared on the big screen with Academy Award winner
It was a small, supporting role, Orgeron playing himself as Mississippi's head football coach.
"She was one of the nicest ladies I've ever met," Orgeron said of Bullock. "We had fun. It was a good time."
But the most memorable moment for Orgeron came when he arrived on the set.
"I think most of the guys making the movie were graduates of USC," Orgeron said, "because I walked in there and they were saying, 'Hey, Coach O! Fight on!' "
Now, he will succeed Kiffin, with eight games to show USC fans, Haden and possibly other athletic directors that he is a capable head coach.
It's a short audition, but for Orgeron it's the role of a lifetime.