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A Look At Debuts For USC Football Coaches

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As Lane Kiffin prepares for his first game as USC head coach, his squad is heavily favored (by 21 points in Vegas) over Hawaii. Here’s a look at how USC coaches have fared in their Trojan debuts, dating back to Howard Jones in 1925:


Pete Carroll (2001): beat San Jose St, 21-10
Paul Hackett (1998): beat Purdue, 27-17
John Robinson (1993*): lost to North Carolina, 31-9
Larry Smith (1987): lost to Michigan St, 27-13
Ted Tollner (1983): tied Florida, 19-19
John Robinson (1976): lost to Missouri, 46-25
John McKay (1960): lost to Oregon St, 14-0
Dave Clark (1957): lost to Oregon St, 20-0
Jess Hill (1951): beat Washington St, 31-21
Jeff Cravath (1942): lost to Tulane, 27-13
Sam Barry (1941): beat Oregon St, 13-7
Howard Jones (1925): beat Whittier 74-0, and beat Cal Tech 32-0


John Robinson had two tenures with the Trojans, and both debuts are included above. Howard Jones, in 1925, started his USC coaching career with a doubleheader! I guess there’s a reason the practice field is named after him after all.


USC has won its last 12 season openers.