USC to pursue Ed Orgeron again

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LAS VEGAS -- Steve Sarkisian became USC's fourth coach in the past four months but would like to have USC's two interim coaches this season on his staff next season.

Sarkisian said on Sunday he will reach out to Ed Orgeron, who went 6-2 as USC's interim head coach, and ask him to be a part of his coaching staff next season.

Clay Helton, who served as USC's third coach this season during the Trojans' 45-20 win over Fresno State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday, has already committed to returning to USC next season.

Orgeron resigned and left the team after Sarkisian was hired as USC's coach on Dec. 2. Orgeron, who turned around USC's season after Lane Kiffin was fired following a 3-2 start, believed he would get the full-time job after the season.

"I am going to pursue Ed here one more time," Sarkisian told the "Trojan Brunch" show on ESPNLA 710. "I thought about him again after the game on the ride home. I think when emotions get settled down, and I know that was an emotional time for Ed and not getting named the head coach when he thought he should have been deservedly so, I would have felt the same way. When the emotions settle down, Ed's a great Trojan and he's meant a lot to the Trojan family and if we can have that opportunity for him to be part of this football program and be here with us, we'd love to have him."

Sarkisian has more motivation to reach out to Orgeron after news surfaced this week that Tosh Lupoi, his defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Washington was being investigated for potential rules violations after he allegedly paid for tutoring and online classes for a recruit.

Orgeron was USC's defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator before becoming the interim head coach. It was believed that Sarkisian wanted Lupoi to handle both jobs but Lupoi likely is no longer in USC's plans.

"I learned of the allegations this past Friday and I was obviously surprised by them," Sarkisian told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "I think this potential allegation could affect not only Tosh's future at USC but moving forward anywhere."

Sarkisian said on Sunday he was confident the allegations would not be an issue for him moving forward and didn't think anything would come of them.

"I would imagine so," Sarkisian said when asked if the allegation would blow over. "The information that I have, I would imagine so. If it doesn't I'll be really disappointed to be quite honest with you. I'll be very disappointed because I know Tosh is a good football coach, I know he's a good recruiter, I'll be disappointed if it doesn't blow over and I'll also be disappointed because I know the job I've done there in promoting a compliant atmosphere. I'll be very disappointed if it doesn't blow over but I'd imagine it does."

Sarkisian said Sunday that Helton would be retained on his staff but didn't officially announce his position yet. A team source said Helton would be the team's offensive coordinator, which is the same position he held last season.

"We haven't announced it officially but I am excited to know he is going to be part of the staff," Sarkisian said. "I think Clay has done just a tremendous job the second half of the season with that offense, with Cody [Kessler], distributing the football to a lot of different players, scoring points, running the football, getting the running backs involved in the passing game and how he handled being the interim coach the last few weeks in a difficult time where there's a lot of emotion in that locker room. I thought Clay did a masterful job of getting them ready to play and ultimately putting on a great performance."

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