USC AD: Mike Garrett ‘Retires’, Pat Haden Hired

Bill Dwyre of the LOS ANGELES TIMES reports today that Pat Haden will take over as USC Athletic Director on August 3. An announcement from USC is expected from the school’s president-elect Max Nikias later today. Nikias is taking over for Steven Sample, who is retiring in August.

Mike Garrett

The Times reports that Mike Garrett, who has served as USC AD the past 17 years, “is expected to take the school’s retirement package.”

On January 10, 2010, I wrote:

When USC School President Steven Sample retires in August, I’m told the 65-year-old Garrett will be escorted to his car in the parking lot on the same day - with the school claiming that he “retired.” (Okay, the parking lot thing was an exaggeration, but he will indeed leave the school when Sample retires.)

Haden is a former star USC quarterback and NFL player. He’s also a longtime broadcaster who most recently has worked on NBC’s Notre Dame telecasts as a color analyst.

More from the LAT on Haden:

The 57-year-old current partner in the private investment firm of Riordan, Lewis & Haden is a former star quarterback at USC, where he was twice academic All-American. He was USC’s starting quarterback in the John McKay years of 1972-74.

Haden was also a magna cum laude and phi beta kappa graduate, as well as a Rhodes Scholar. He spent parts of 1975-78 — while a quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL — as a student at Oxford. He started at quarterback for the Rams much of the 1976-81 seasons.

Haden, a member of the USC board of trustees for 19 years and the head of that board’s academic affairs committee, said he was approached by Nikias recently about becoming athletic director and said the idea grew on him.

The Haden hire will be considered a major coup by Nikias, as Haden has expressed a lack of interest in the job in the past. Perhaps the problems within the athletic department stemming from recent, harsh NCAA sanctions placed on the football program changed Haden’s mind.