Fans hoping to see offensive guru Norm Chow return to USC and help Lane Kiffin restore the football program after the sudden departure of Pete Carroll might be out of luck. According to an anonymous source in the UCLA athletics department, Chow requested a contract extension after being contacted by USC and assured UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel that he wants to stay.
Chow, a former offensive coordinator at USC from 2001-04 who coached alongside Kiffin under Pete Carroll and helped the Trojans win two national titles, left USC in the spring of 2005. He became the offensive coordinator for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans until joining the football staff at USC’s cross town rival UCLA in 2008.
According to the Los Angeles Times, it was USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett’s decision to try to bring back Chow to reunite a coaching staff that includes defensive line coach and top recruiter Ed Orgeron.
“I said, ‘You know, it would be nice if we brought that whole staff back,’ ” Garrett said, “and I don’t think Lane was against that. So that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Although a deal to extend Chow’s contract hasn’t been made yet, Neuheisel feels good about his chances of keeping his offensive coordinator at UCLA.
“There are all sorts of negotiations,” Neuheisel said. “What’s important is that Norm is saying he wants to be at UCLA.”
Ultimately, the decision may come down to which school can pay Chow the most money and USC may have the upper hand in that situation. Chow is expected to make $640,000 at UCLA next season, including a $250,000 bonus.