- Jeff Legwold, ESPN Staff Writer
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DENVER -- With the head-coaching job now open at his alma mater, Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is expected to quickly emerge as a leading candidate to replace Lane Kiffin at USC.
But according to multiple team sources, even if Del Rio was to interview and/or accept a new position, with USC or elsewhere, he won’t leave his current job with the 3-0 Broncos until the season’s end, even if it were to conclude with a Super Bowl trip. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning Del Rio will be a top candidate for the job at USC, which fired Kiffin shortly after the team returned from a 62-41 loss at Arizona State on Saturday night.
The Trojans will have an interim coach finish out the season (ESPN’s Joe Schad reported Sunday that USC assistant head coach Ed Orgeron will coach the Trojans the rest of this season).
Del Rio is in his second season as the Broncos' defensive coordinator after a nine-year run as the Jacksonville Jaguars' head coach. When he was hired by John Fox before the 2012 season, Del Rio became the team’s seventh defensive coordinator in seven seasons.
Some long-time coaching associates believe that while Del Rio would certainly be intrigued by the USC job, it might not be his only option -- especially if the Broncos continue their winning ways and go deep into the postseason. Del Rio may want to see what NFL opportunities exist at season's end before he makes any decision about his future. If the Broncos were to advance to the Super Bowl, Del Rio couldn't interview with an NFL team until a weeklong window following the conference championship games.