|Mike Garrett sees a bright future for USC athletics.
by Tim Tessalone
Is it more difficult for USC to be successful in football now? Some people say that, but I dont agree. I believe if you have the right combination of people and resources and desire that you can do almost anything. With Paul Hackett, we believe were in a position to really improve our program.
Each full year that youve been athletic director, USC has ranked in the top 10 nationally in the all-sports ranking. But youve often said thats not good enough. We want to win more, particularly national championships, because thats what were used to doing. Being a Trojan and winning are synonymous. In the last two years, weve missed out on a couple of opportunities for more national titles, but I believe our athletes have learned from it.
What qualities do you look for in hiring coaches? We always look for a disciplinarian first. The second component is someone who will put the same stress on academics as he or she will on athletics. The third is someone who knows the sport and can just flat out coach it.
Do you think theres a correlation between success in athletics and academics? Its an old adage that if you want to get something done, ask a busy person to do it. The way to win is to make sure student-athletes are under pressure both in the classroom and on the field and they will find a way to succeed.
Besides being exciting, your job is obviously stressful. What do you do to relax? Watch sports. Its more of the same thing, but its someone elses team. I love sports. I also run a lot, and that relaxes me. And I play golf badly enough so that when I play all I can think about is golf, which takes my mind off my job.
Youve embarked on a major expansion of athletic facilities. Was that one of your goals when you became athletic director? I knew we had to do two things: bring in good coaches who could recruit and improve our facilities. The first five years weve hired outstanding coaches, established our recruiting and started generating more money for our program. Now were improving our facilities, and thats the last leg of what we had to do. Were very optimistic about the future.
Assistant athletic director Jim Perry has followed Mike Garretts career for nearly 35 years as a sports-writer and former USC sports information director.
|When we played Texas A&M in 1964, they were scared to death of our tailback, Mike Garrett. Every time the ball was snapped and Mike took a step, it looked like all 11 members of the defense flowed toward him.
|Photo by Debra DiPaolo|
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