Fresh off a vacation, USC coach Lane Kiffin was back in Heritage Hall on Tuesday afternoon. Soon after, the first-year coach released a statement on the hiring of athletic director Pat Haden.
Here's what the 35-year-old coach said: “I’ve known Pat Haden for a long time and my congratulations go out to him. I know he’ll do a wonderful job as our athletic director. He’s been such a vital part of the USC fabric for so long, he’ll be able to contribute immensely to our athletic department. I know the entire Trojan Family will readily welcome him."
It's important to note that Haden was reported to be on the committee -- made up of members of USC's Board of Trustees -- that helped former athletic director Mike Garrett make the decision to hire Kiffin.
Kiffin also mentioned a prior relationship with both Haden and the Trojans' new associate athletic director for football, J.K. McKay: “I’ve already met with Pat and J.K. McKay, and they are excited about our program and the upcoming season. I’m looking forward to working with them and embracing all the things they have to offer."
Kiffin finished off the statement by referencing the ousted Garrett, who spent 20 years at USC -- 17 of them as the school's athletic director.
"I also want to thank Mike Garrett for the opportunity he presented to us," Kiffin said. "We will work extremely hard to carry on his vision for USC football. He had an incredible run as our athletic director and Trojan fans should applaud his passion, dedication and accomplishments. When I spoke with Mike today, he said that although he won’t be here, he’ll be following us closely because USC is so dear to him."