"no hypothetical coaching search would be complete without the presence of America's favorite non-coach, former Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden. The Super Bowl-winner has been included on every NFL and major college short list since leaving Tampa"
Record at Current Job: $$
Overall Head Coaching Record: 100-85, including one Super Bowl
Why He Would Be a Good Fit For USC:
Oh. You're still here.
I don't think there's any point in debating his ability to decode the X's and O's so let's start with recruiting. Every single quarterback in the county would be crawling all over each other to get a shot to come and play under Jon Gruden. Given USC's excellent relationship with the NCAA, I bet they could talk them into letting the Trojans accept payment rather than have to offer scholarships. A Super Bowl-winning mentor with an NFL pedigree would make an already impressive recruiting team unstoppable.
Additionally, I don't think I'll be overstepping my bounds to say that college sports at USC come with a little bit of distraction. Besides the media frenzy, Southern California athletes have
beaches classes, Disneyland academic extracurriculars, girls study groups, and a host of other disruptions before they step into the locker room. They didn't call him Chucky just for his porcelain complexion, and I would wager the man knows how to cut through the bull and get kids ready to play football.
Why He Would Be a Bad Fit For USC:
Why are you still reading this? You should be out finding Jon Gruden.
That whole "distractions" thing we just talked about... probably not worth $6.5 million. I don't know the man personally but I'd say ESPN's highest paid on-air personality can probably think of better things to do with his time than whip college kids into shape. Maybe sleep atop a mountain of cash, or swim in it Scrooge McDuck-style? Or maybe travel the country and watch the best football has to offer each week.
It would take an awful lot for someone to come down off the Mount Olympus of football and take on everything that comes with a college program, even one as appealing as this. I think it's safe to say Haden has the money to make it interesting, but shouldering everything else that comes along with coaching at USC may be too much to ask.
Furthermore, while recruiting student athletes might be bolstered by the possibility of pre-game meals at Hooters, the effect is multiplied inversely with their mothers.