LOS ANGELES -- Southern California coach Pete Carroll has
named two assistants to take over the duties of departed offensive
coordinator Norm Chow, splitting the job between assistant head
coach Steve Sarkisian and new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
Sarkisian will be in charge of the offense, while Kiffin will
handle most of the play calling from the booth for two-time
defending national champion USC.
Carroll made the new assignments Thursday, a day after Chow left
to become offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans. Four
other USC assistants also moved on to new jobs, although one --
Dennis Slutak -- already is returning as director of football
Sarkisian, 30, was USC's quarterbacks coach during Carroll's
first three years at the Trojans' helm, from 2001-2003. Sarkisian
spent last season on the Oakland Raiders staff.
He formerly was a quarterback at BYU when Chow was an assistant
on the Cougars' staff.
Carroll, who handles the Trojans' defense, said Sarkisian "will
have an overview of our entire offense."
"This is a great opportunity for us to keep our philosophy
intact and our style and concepts," Carroll said. "Sark grew up
under Norm Chow and played for him. We'll be able to keep our
"It's a big role to fill as Norm leaves. But Sark will be the
guy you'll go to now with questions on the offense."
Kiffin, 29, son of longtime pro and college coach Monte Kiffin,
also was a member of Carroll's first USC staff. He coached the wide
receivers the past three years, and last season added the duty of
passing game coordinator. He will continue to work with the wide
receivers and serve as recruiting coordinator.
"He'll do all the duties Sark needs," Carroll said. "Sark
will administer the game on the field and have the last say on the
plays. Lane will be upstairs calling the plays. But Sark has the
final say-so, unless I enter in."
Sarkisian's and Kiffin's combined ages are just one year less
than the 58-year-old Chow.
"The confidence Sark and Lane developed over the three years
they were together here will make it a great setup for us,"
Carroll said. "I'm not worried about it one bit."