LOS ANGELES -- By the time USC head coach Steve Sarkisian hit the big Four-Oh, he had earned two national championship rings as a Trojans assistant and pulled Washington football out of the ditch. Five years ago, the guy everyone calls Sark took over an 0-12 program in Seattle. The Huskies went 8-4 last season before USC called Sarkisian to come back.
Sarkisian won 34 games in Seattle. That's 15 more victories than John McKay won before he turned 40, not to mention 34 more than John Robinson and Pete Carroll won before they did.
McKay, Robinson and Carroll are the last three head coaches to lead USC to a national championship, and yes, that is the ultimate measuring stick for Trojan football. All of which is to say that if ever Sark was a boy wonder, he is no more.
If you ask Sark how he handled turning 40, which he did on March 8, he laughs long and loudly and says, "Not very good."
And then, standing in the middle of Howard Jones/Brian Kennedy Field after practice one day last week, Sarkisian said what everyone in USC wants to hear: "I didn't change. I haven't changed. I'm having a blast out here."
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