Former USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron turned down the chance to become a head coach once more, according to CoachingSearch.com.
The man that helped pull the USC season out of the dredges after Lane Kiffin was fired last season and helped lead the Trojans to a 9-4 regular season record (6-2 under Orgeron) declined the opportunity to take over as the interim head coach at 0-3 Nicholls State after Charlie Stubbs stepped down Sunday due to personal health issues.
On Tuesday, Nicholls State hired Steve Axman as interim head coach. Axman last coached at Idaho as offensive coordinator in 2011, but also most notably spent time at UCLA, Stanford and Washington.
CoachingSearch.com talked with Nicholls State Athletic Director Rob Bernardi about the hiring of Axman, but the most interesting nugget from their conversation was about Orgeron. Bernardi said he approached Orgeron about taking over for the remainder of the season at the Louisiana school that is around 75 miles from Coach O's home in Mandeville, Louisiana.
Instead of jumping at the opportunity, Ed Orgeron chose to respectfully decline and keep a commitment he made to his family for this season, according to CoachingSearch.com.
While we respect Orgeron's decision to honor his commitment to his family and turn down the chance to be back at the helm of a team , it's not like he was offered the LSU job or even the Tulane job. Nicholls State is an FCS school in the Southland Conference and not a very good one at that. The Colonels were just 10-38 under Charlie Stubbs, though Stubbs did defeat Western Michigan in 2013 -- only the third win over an FBS school in Nicholls State history.
We know Orgeron wants to get back into coaching and being in the locker room. He just last week told 247sports that he misses the team atmosphere and the camaraderie:
"I'm really like a tiger in a cage right now to be honest with you. I'm ready to go. I miss the game time, the smell of the grass. The preparation during the week. Mostly the players and coaches, the comraderie, waking up in the morning with a purpose to win. Being around highly competitive people that want to be the very best. Being able to compete at a high level. it's not just the wins, the tough times going through adversity, it makes you better. I love seeing my team come to work with a smile. with their chest out, enjoying the grind. Just the overall atmosphere of college football. I love being at home with my kids, my wife and my family. I'm very involved with them, it's been special but I can't wait to get back to football."
It is highly unlikely that a premier job, which it seems Ed Orgeron feels he is worthy of, will come open during the season, so it's probably best for Orgeron (if that is indeed how he feels) to enjoy time spent with the family while taking this year off.
There's no shame in having a nice year off and then jumping back into the coaching search mix in December when the gears of the coaching carousel start pushing around all those Mustangs', Lions', Tigers', Bears' and Bulldogs' vacancies.