An interesting name has popped up as a potential candidate in the USC coaching search.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, sources around the NFL tell him they believe Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy will emerge as a candidate for the USC head coaching vacancy.
Schefter’s sources can believe what they want, but I’m not buying. I refuse to fall for the okie-doke, again. Bieniemy’s name hit its peak following the Chiefs Super Bowl win a couple of years ago, but after too many interviews and being mentioned in almost every NFL head coaching search, he’s still a coordinator, not the guy in charge.
How true this rumor really is will come to light in the following weeks. For now though, his name is officially out there as a candidate for one of the nation’s premier college head coaching positions. And admittedly, since Bieniemy can’t seem to get a real look at a head coaching gig in the NFL, this may need to be his route to eventually becoming a head coach in the National Football League. After all, what NFL owner would hire an offensive coordinator who has never called plays on this level?
Well, recently, Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie did it when he hired Nick Sirianni as his head coach.
The Detroit Lions had no issue with Dan Campbell, having never even been a coordinator before hiring him. Some might say, “Oh, but Campbell played in the league... ” but Bieniemy also played in the league, so there’s that. John Harbaugh jumped right into head coaching after being special teams coach and defensive backs coach for years. He even has a Super Bowl victory under his belt. Examples of coaches having never called plays on either side of the ball before becoming a head coach go on and on.
It’s been a long time since USC was consistently in the national spotlight of college football. A lot of the top high school talent in California has ended up elsewhere over the past decade-plus. Ever since Pete Carroll jumped ship ahead of NCAA sanctions (weird timing, right?) to head back to the NFL, it’s been rough for USC. If the rumor involving Bieniemy to USC does happen to be true, maybe he can bring the spark needed to reinvigorate this once-proud program.
USC brass decided it was time to end the tenure of now-former head coach Clay Helton after a 1-1 start this season and an embarrassing 42-28 loss to Stanford. After a Rose Bowl victory in 2016 and an 11-3 record the next season, it was mostly downhill for Helton and the Trojans from that point.
The Trojans now must search for a new head man who they hope can get them back to the top of college football where they feel they belong. So, we’ll see what happens this time for Bieniemy and his hope of becoming a head coach. It’s sadly beginning to look more like a pipe dream — and seemingly by no fault of his own.