For the second time this week, a USC legend has spoken out about the Trojans ongoing coaching search.
But unlike quarterback Carson Palmer earlier this week, Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Munoz didn’t take over the news cycle with any headline-making suggestions.
Appearing on the “NFL Rhodes Show” podcast with Lindsay Rhodes, the most notable thing Munoz revealed was that he is part of a panel of sorts of former Trojans who have shared input on what USC should look for in a coach.
“I heard there’s about 24 of us. I spent 40, 45 minutes talking to the search group and sharing a lot of my thoughts,” Munoz said. “I think there’s four former assistant coaches that have been there, so it’s happening. They’re really tapping into guys that have not only been there, are lifetime Trojans, but played in the NFL and have been around a lot of coaches.
“I racked my brain trying to think of guys out there right now that I would like to see at ‘SC as head coaches, and it’s tough. I know there’s names that have been mentioned. I’ve gotten to know Luke Fickell, who’s here in my backyard. [USC AD] Mike Bohn, who I got to know when he was at University of Cincinnati, he hired Luke Fickell, I love Luke Fickell, not only as a person but as a coach. I love what he stands for, I love the coaches he’s brought into Cincinnati and the amazing job he’s done recruiting. I don’t know [James] Franklin at Penn State. What I do a lot is I watch a lot — interactions, press conferences — so him and David Shaw are guys that to me are very impressive as people and as coaches.
“I heard it, somebody mentioned it, you have to pursue and you have to force them to say no. It’s USC. I mean, sure, we’ve been down, but it’s USC. It’s like, basketball, it’s Duke. Those are the teams that you make people say no, and I think USC is that head coaching job.”
Palmer, of course, made headlines earlier this week when he appeared on the Dan Patrick Show and suggested that Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin could be a candidate.
Tomlin then aggressively rejected any such notion, and there are no indications there has ever been any traction between Tomlin and the Trojans.
But that’s the fun of a coaching search at a program the stature of USC — everybody has an opinion and some get taken seriously depending on where they’re coming from, even if there’s no tangible basis.
As for what’s actually happening in the search, USC’s athletics administration has kept a tight lid on the search, seeming to do a good job controlling any actual leaks of intel and making Bohn unavailable to reporters until a coach is hired.