In a whirlwind season last year for the USC Trojans, the biggest story was former head coach Steve Sarkisian. He was fired in October by USC Athletic Direct Pat Haden after his alcohol problems grew too big to bear. After his dismissal from USC and a tarnished image Sark began to address his problems.
Despite the problems and the drama on and off the field, however, some of his former players have expressed their support for the embattled coach. One of them is former Trojan quarterback Cody Kessler.
The signal-caller spoke at the NFL Combine in February and had nothing but positive things to say about the coach according to the Seattle Times. He said that he had not spoken to Sarkisian recently, but that he has no hard feelings toward his former coach. If anything, he had admiration, and hoped that he would return to football soon.
"You know, Sark it obviously was an unfortunate situation that happened," said Kessler ,who started for three seasons at USC and committed to the Trojans in 2011 after seriously considering Washington when Sarkisian was the Huskies' coach.
"But he was good to me, and I respect him still to this day. He was a good coach, a good man. He really is. He's a good person. He just had personal things going on that were unfortunate that affected him in his job, which was being a head coach. It was tough to see, especially being a guy who had gotten so close to him over the years. I still wish him the best, and hopefully he gets another opportunity to coach again, because he really is a really good coach, a good person, and the players, especially me, loved playing for him. It was just unfortunate the things he was dealing with at the time."
Sarkisian has not spoken publicly about the issue since his firing and entering rehab, but he did file a wrongful termination lawsuit in December of last year.
Good on Kessler to back his former coach. As someone who is on a football team myself, I can attest to the fact that you can develop a close relationship with your coach. You never want to see someone struggle, and any support they can get is certainly welcome.