Interim Orgeron OK with USC coaching search

Stanford head coach David Shaw emerged from his press conference and walked towards the USC locker room following his team’s 20-17 loss in the Coliseum on Saturday night.

USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron was summoned and the two chatted.

“He came over to tell us congratulations,” Orgeron told FOXSportsWest.com as he exited the Coliseum on Saturday night. “(He’s a) class act.”

The win derailed Stanford’s chances of winning the Pac-12 North and any outside hope of being in the BCS Championship Game.

For USC, it had the makings of a rebirth. Scholarship reductions, sanctions and all, USC was back on a national stage and defeating a top-5 power.

With the win, the Trojans emerged as the No. 23 team in the BCS Standings on Sunday evening.

Quite possibly, it was the biggest win for USC at the Coliseum in a decade. If Orgeron didn’t have any star power before, he became a rock star following the win on Saturday night.

It appears Shaw knows what USC has become under Orgeron.

“The thing is, everybody except for the people in our conference is surprised by USC playing well,” Shaw said following the loss. “Everybody (was) beating up on them at the beginning of the year. This is a good football team.”

Does USC know what it has in Orgeron?

Early Sunday, the Denver Broncos confirmed their interim head coach and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio interviewed with USC about its head coaching vacancy. Del Rio is a former All-American linebacker at USC.

The interview, however, reportedly took place on Nov. 1 — a little more than two weeks before Orgeron and the Trojans shocked the world by beating Stanford.

When asked about Del Rio interviewing for the job, Orgeron said he wasn’t aware of it but he really didn’t care.

“I know (USC athletic director Pat Haden) has a job to do and I know he’s going to go out there and interview the best candidates available for USC,” Orgeron said during his Sunday evening teleconference. “(My focus is on) doing the best job I can for USC and focusing on Colorado. That’s all I can do. That’s really important to me. I’d rather be in this position being with the Trojans than being in any other position.”
 
Orgeron has said in the past he’d like to remain on the staff as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator if he wasn’t retained as head coach. However, since being named USC’s interim head coach, his stock has risen significantly as a potential head coaching candidate for a number of programs across the country.

Furthermore, he is beloved inside the USC locker room, by the players’ families, and the student body.

What was written off by many as a lost season in early September, Orgeron somehow has salvaged.

“Coach O is making up for these last three years in eight games,” redshirt junior safety Dion Bailey said.