USC is the first true college football power to enter the coaching carousel this year, after firing Clay Helton following the team's loss to Stanford. As always, the Trojans coaching search will be a fascinating one to watch.
The program has been very consistent in hiring those with previous connections to the school, in the post-Pete Carroll era. Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian were offensive coordinators under Carroll during his incredible run at USC, while Helton was offensive coordinator under both of them, eventually having the interim tag removed after taking over for Sark.
That may come to an end, with the relatively failures of those last three coaches. A new name that has surfaced would more closely resemble Carroll, if he is to land the job: former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn.
Lynn is from Texas originally, playing his college ball at Texas Tech, but he has plenty of local experience after his four years as head coach of the Chargers. That doesn't necessarily carry the same weight as local college coaching experience though, since he hasn't recruited. Lynn has never been a college coach at any level. Even still, he has reportedly been contacted by Trojans boosters, and has expressed interest in the gig.
Lynn went 33-31 in four years with the Chargers, topping out at 12-4 in 2018. While the Chargers had plenty of positives in 2020, thanks to the impressive rookie season of Justin Herbert, Lynn was fired after a 7-9 season. He is now the offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions. As a hire at one of the biggest college football powers in the country, it probably wouldn't go over particularly well. That was the case when Carroll was brought in back in 2001. At the time, he was coming off of one 6-10 season with the New York Jets in 1994, and a 27-21 record over three years with the New England Patriots from 1997-99. It's impossible to know if Lynn would have similar success at the college level, but it's hard to sell "middling NFL coach with no college experience," even with past success doing just that. [
USC boosters have reached out to @Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn to gauge his interest in the university’s vacancy (the answer: he would be interested in the job). To date there has been no contact between the school and Lynn.
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) September 27, 2021