USC Sports

USC’s Ed Orgeron calls Jeff Tedford about helping the Trojans

Jeff Tedford
Former California coach Jeff Tedford won’t become a familiar face on the USC sideline.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

Ed Orgeron is known for his tenacity in recruiting prospects for USC.

Less than a week into his tenure as the Trojans’ interim coach, he has also taken a stab at recruiting a coach.

Orgeron said Thursday that he had called former California coach Jeff Tedford to gauge his interest in helping the Trojans “in some capacity.” Tedford passed.

“He was very complimentary of USC, very supportive of what we wanted to do,” Orgeron said. “But he just had other things that he had in mind.


“I did not call anybody else.”

Orgeron said there also was “some thought” to bringing in an additional defensive coach. Orgeron continues to oversee the defensive line, Mike Ekeler linebackers and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast the secondary.

Orgeron said he had been contacted by “a couple” coaches whom he respected, but “it just has to be the right fit.”

He has not ruled out revisiting the issue.


“I don’t want to say it’s closed,” he said. “I like the guys we have. We’re going to see how it works this week.

“If another name pops up that we think they can help us win, we’ll definitely entertain the thought…. I’m not going to shut any doors.”

Orgeron is overseeing Trojans team meetings. He also meets with defensive linemen and runs recruiting meetings. He does not attend offensive meetings, but he said he huddles each morning with offensive coordinator Clay Helton.

Still recovering

Veteran players and starters coached young players in what Orgeron dubbed the “Trojan Bowl.” The players whooped and hollered throughout.

“It’s something we did at the University of Miami and I thought it was excellent,” Orgeron said. “Guys got fired up for it…. It was a little break, but it was football.”

Lost somewhat amid Lane Kiffin’s firing and Orgeron’s emphasis on fun in this week’s practices is that the Trojans gave up 62 points in their last game.

“When you’ve been around this business,” Pendergast said, “there’s going to be days like that.”


Pendergast, former defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, pointed to the 2008 NFL season, when the Cardinals lost to the New England Patriots, 47-7, in the second-to-last game of the season. The Cardinals went on to play in the Super Bowl.

“Nobody thought we were going to be very good in the playoffs,” he said. “So those kinds of games happen and, obviously, you want to keep them to a minimum.”

Pendergast coached at Cal before coming to USC. In 2012, the Golden Bears gave up 59 points in a loss to Oregon, and then finished the season the next week with a 62-14 defeat by Oregon State.

The Trojans’ problems against Arizona State sprang from a good performance by Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly and “miscommunication and mental errors that we hadn’t had the first four weeks,” Pendergast said. He added that the mistakes had been addressed and would be corrected.

Pendergast and defensive backs had dinner away from campus Wednesday night.

“Just a chance to get out and … be in a different setting and just relax a little bit and not really have to talk about football all the time,” he said.

Quick hits and the Associated Press, citing unnamed sources, reported that USC Athletic Director Pat Haden is expected to be selected to the College Football Playoff selection committee. The committee will include 12 to 18 members.... The Trojans, who have an open date, will practice Friday and then be off Saturday.


Twitter: @latimesklein

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