Robinson out, Chiefs' Hackett in as Southern Calif. coach

December 17, 1997|By Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES -- Southern California fired John Robinson late last night and hired Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Paul Hackett as its new coach.

Hackett, 50, agreed to become the Trojans' coach yesterday morning. The deal was consummated in a Kansas City hotel room as Hackett met with USC athletic director Mike Garrett, university president Steven Sample and general counsel Robert Lane.

Sample, whose final approval was required to make the coaching change, took a red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Kansas City just to meet Hackett.

Hackett, who remained in Kansas City, where he is still employed by the Chiefs, will be announced as USC's 20th football coach at a news conference this afternoon.

In his only public comments yesterday, Hackett denied being a candidate to replace Robinson.

Robinson could not be reached for comment, but he called his coaching staff last night and informed them he had been fired.

"He's disappointed," said a source who spoke to Robinson. "He really felt he had a shot to make this thing work."

Robinson, 62, has a 104-35-4 record in 12 years as USC's coach -- from 1976 to 1982 and 1993 to 1997, but was 12-11 the last two years.

Pub Date: 12/17/97

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