Pro Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann has resigned as athletic director at his alma mater, USC, in a move that could affect the football coaching world at both the college and NFL levels.
USC President Carol Folt praised Swann in a statement, saying, “He will forever be a valued member of the Trojan family.”
That statement aside, Swann’s tenure has been heavily criticized. The USC athletic department was involved in the college admissions bribery scandal, and Swann has taken heat for his decision to stick with head coach Clay Helton after last year’s 5-7 record. A new athletic director is highly likely to want his or her own coach, and Helton will need to have a very good season this year to keep his job. So far he’s 2-0 and USC is ranked No. 24.
Whatever happens with the USC football program will have an impact on the NFL. The USC job would be attractive to NFL coaches, and USC and NFL teams are always in competition for coaches, including this year, when USC hired Kliff Kingsbury as its offensive coordinator, and Swann attempted to prevent Kingsbury from interviewing for NFL jobs. Kingsbury ultimately resigned from USC and became the Cardinals’ head coach.
After an All-American career at USC, Swann was a first-round draft pick and three-time Pro Bowler with the Steelers, the Super Bowl X MVP, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2001.