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Steve Sarkisian Touring ESPN Headquarters

Pac-12 head coaches have been really busy this week.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Pack your bags across the country as the Pac-12 Football head coaches are at ESPN Headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut in an effort maximize the current hype and create more exposure for the conference heading into the season.

In the midst of a million other fun activities planned for these coaches, coach Steve Sarkisian and Stanford head coach David Shaw spoke on the Mike and Mike this morning to discuss a variety of important topics pertaining college football.


On Pete Carroll entering USC's 2015 Hall of Fame Class: "When I first got started, Pete was an unbelievable mentor of mine. I worked for him for seven years, and some of the time when your thinking why are we doing this, why are we doing that. Then as now as a head coach, now you figure out the rhyme or reason behind some of the stuff you are doing...The players love him, he was a lot more demanding looking now then I thought back then. Couldn't be happier for him."

On learning from Pete Carroll: "When adversity strikes, the real you's gonna come out, so make sure you are the real you the entire time. I've tried to do that for the last five years and we will continue to try and do that. We're different people but the important thing is that players have changed a little over time here as well. The way they've been raised, the way they get dealt with by their little league coaches, by their high school coaches. So I really think there is a need for the connection with your players. But a lot of the philosophies I got from Pete, I've hold on to just done them in my own way."

On expectations: "We need to start with the Pac-12 South Championship first...We were really fortunate, we've inherited a really good football team. These guys are talented. There's great leadership on this team, guys who have been threw a lot these last couple years. With that they've grown closer together, and I think we've got a chance."

On returning back to full health: "We are gonna go to training camp with about 67 scholarship players, where about every school in the country goes in with 85. We have to make sure that our players are versatile enough to be multiple from a positional standpoint...You have to have your players be able to be multiple."

On coaching new program: "Recruiting never ends, never stops. Just in the day of age in college football were in right now. It's an awesome problem to have. I'd much rather try to find a way to have a talented player play multiple spots than not be as good and say 'hey, what am I doing here with this thing.'"


  • Sarkisian's been rather adamant that while he falls under the Pete Carroll coaching tree, he can apply those unique lessons towards his individual coaching style. When he first took the USC job, some fans took exception to the fact that Pat Haden seemingly dug into the well for an upgrade at head coach. While Sark continues to grow, following a five-year stint in Washington, the Trojans newest head coach is confident in his ability to manage the program with his social media, fast-paced, recruiting-heavy savvy towards operating the program.
  • We don't need to be reminded about the obstacles of playing undermanned the past few seasons and the Trojans staff has adopted the model of recruiting players that can show flashes at multiple positions. The challenge moving forward is whether Sark can find the proper fit for many of these guys, while maximizing their worth on the field. Names like Adoree' Jackson, JuJu Smith, Nelson Agholor, Rahshead Johnson, Max Tuerk come to mind as guys that could be used in a variety of places.
  • While the pressure, and expectations, of wining games in Cardinal and Gold are etched in the legendary Heritage Hall, Sarkisian continues to preach a more patient approach towards regaining fellow status as an elite program.
    The coaching staff's number one goal, at least from what we've been spoon fed thus far, is winning the Pac-12 South this year and also out recruiting any team on the West Coast. Sarkisian has faired well in recruiting up to this point, but if he wants to make a solid first impression, winning the battles against ASU and UCLA on the gridiron could go a long way for his overall coaching reputation.