Five articles this morning in the Times -- not one negative comment about Haden or the decision to hire Sark. Not one. I'll spare you having to go to the site by posting relevant quotes here.
Honestly, who gets better press than Haden? The Times may endorse him for Mayor, Governor, President, or Pope next.
The story is not how many coaches turned Haden down before he got to Sark...
Haden spent almost exactly two months searching for Kiffin's long-term replacement before hiring Sarkisian.
After Kiffin's firing on Sept. 29, USC representatives contacted agents to gauge the interest of high-profile coaches such as Alabama's Nick Saban, according to a person close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Haden interviewed Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio in November, but his main target was Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin, the person said. Haden, however, could not meet with Sumlin in person until after the Aggies' regular season was complete.
Haden was scheduled to meet with Sumlin on Sunday, the person said, but Texas A&M announced Saturday that Sumlin had agreed to a six-year contract extension.
USC also contacted Boise State's Chris Petersen, who reportedly withdrew from consideration.
...but what a perfect choice Sark was.
Here's Bill Dwyer (emphasis mine):
Pat Haden, USC's athletic director, didn't blink, and those who know him best never expected him to.
Those who thought this hiring was incredible pressure for Haden weren't wrong. Those who thought it was the worst pressure he'd experienced were.
Remember, he played in the NFL as a 5-foot-11 quarterback. His problem never was hitting open receivers, it was seeing them over his offensive linemen. Remember, he had to win the 1975 Rose Bowl for USC by throwing key passes to a skinny wide receiver whose father happened to be the coach. That's pressure.
Sarkisian is a known quantity, a familiar name and face. He has bled Trojans cardinal as an assistant coach. He left for Washington, but that is forgiven as long as he is willing to come back.
He even brings that little touch of Pete Carroll association with him, having been his assistant at USC and then worked in the same city where Carroll has become an NFL god.
Gary Klein on Sark:
Now the former quarterback at West Torrance High, El Camino College and Brigham Young is back at USC after reviving a moribund Washington program that was winless the season before he arrived in Seattle. Sarkisian compiled a 34-29 record, including victories over USC in 2009 at Seattle and in 2010 at the Coliseum. The Huskies are 8-4 this season.
In previous stints at USC, Sarkisian tutored Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart and also Matt Cassel, John David Booty and Mark Sanchez. In 2005, Sarkisian and Kiffin oversaw one of the most prolific offenses in college football history.
Dufresne on Sark:
Once USC fans step back from the suddenness of his hiring, they will realize Sarkisian really does "check off all the boxes."
Plaschke on Sark:
Equally important is what Sarkisian is not.
He is not Lane Kiffin. He is not Kiffin 2.0. He is not a Kiffin encore. They are friends, but their personalities are far different. During the five seasons they worked together on USC's offense, Sarkisian was on the field while Kiffin was in the booth. Sarkisian is a strong and visible leader while Kiffin kept his nose in a playbook. And, oh yeah, it was Kiffin, not Sarkisian, who called that doomed fourth-down run by LenDale White against Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl.
Sarkisian is a product of the Carroll era without the arrogant penchant for breaking the rules. He is a disciple of Norm Chow but with much more presence.
Of course, should Sarkisian break any rules, you can bet the crack staff at the Times will be right on top of it, right?