LOS ANGELES — Jeff Tedford politely said thanks, but no thanks to USC this week. The former Cal head coach was contacted by USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron about joining the Trojans’ staff.
“He was very complimentary but this was not something he wanted to do right now,” Orgeron said on “Trojans Live” Thursday night. “No job was offered or nothing. It was just a conversation.”
USC has a spot open on their staff after the firing of Lane Kiffin early Sunday morning.
Interestingly enough, Tedford was rumored as a possible candidate to join the program as a potential play-caller in the offseason, coinciding with the great debate on whether or not Kiffin would continue to call plays or not.
He was also seen at USC training camp. Kiffin considers him a mentor, which would have made it even more interesting had he decided to join Orgeron and the Trojans for the post-Kiffin portion of the 2013 season.
Offensive coordinator Clay Helton will call the plays and do so from the field with wide receiver coach Tee Martin moving up to the press box.
Orgeron admitted after Thursday’s practice that he’s not involved in any offensive meetings but does meet with Helton in the mornings.
Orgeron says the search to fill the open assistant slot is not closed.
“Obviously, this time a year not a lot of guys out there,” he said.
The USC interim head coach says he has been contacted by a few coaches in regards to the vacancy but wants to make sure it’s the right fit. He’ll entertain names but for now won’t be making any further calls, he says. In addition to being the teams’ interim head coach, he continues to be work with the defensive line.
Including Orgeron, there are only three defensive coaches on the staff.
Despite Tedford declining a possible opportunity to become a part of the Trojans staff, it still didn’t steal their joy.
The changes implemented by Orgeron continue. He harkened back to his days at the University of Miami on Thursday when he had the players compete is what is known as the “Trojan Bowl.”
It was a practice in which the first- and second-stringers served as coaches leading walk-ons and others buried on the depth chart in a full-contact scrimmage. Junior OL Marcus Martin was named the head coach of the offense and senior LB Devon Kennard served as the head coach of the defense.
“They were calling plays,” Orgeron said. “Doing all kind of crazy stuff and really having fun.
“I thought it was excellent. Guys got fired up for it (at Miami) just like today and we always did it during an open date.”
Orgeron admitted he didn’t do anything of this nature in his three seasons as head coach at Ole Miss. He vowed that if he ever were to become a head coach again he would do it. With the Trojans on a bye week, Thursday provided that opportunity.