It was a dark time for USC athletics.
The football and men's basketball teams were facing some of the harshest sanctions in NCAA history, the athletic director had been fired and university administrators needed someone to stabilize the situation.
So the school did what it has almost always done, turning to one of its own.
When Pat Haden took over the athletic department in the summer of 2010, he became the seventh man to hold the position since 1926, all but one of them hired from within.
Six years later, with Haden announcing his impending retirement Friday, USC has plans to launch a search for his replacement.