Graham Harrell is set to become USC’s new offensive coordinator, according to a report from The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman. A deal with Harrell had been in the works over the weekend after the 33-year-old interviewed with Trojans head coach Clay Helton.
After Kliff Kingsbury’s departure to take the Arizona Cardinals head coaching gig, the Trojans were rumored to be interested Harrell. While the offensive coordinator at North Texas, the former Texas Tech quarterback ran a similar version of the Air Raid offense that Kingsbury became famous for.
Despite being on the job for only a few weeks, Kingsbury’s offensive plans got people around USC — including recruits — extremely excited about the offense he was set to employ. His abrupt departure really upset a lot of people close to the program. So it made complete sense to bring in another guy who ran that same system.
Harrell won the Sammy Baugh Trophy and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award in 2008 at Texas Tech. He was then the quality control coach at Oklahoma State in 2009 after only getting a training camp look from the Saskatchewan Rough Riders.
In 2010 he returned to playing and caught on with the Green Bay Packers through the 2012 season. He was a member of Green Bay’s Super XLV winning team, then was signed by the Jets in 2013 for roughly a week. He retired from the NFL after that.
From 2014-15 he was the outside receivers coach for Washington State and has been wildly successful as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at North Texas since 2016. Now he’ll move up to the big time of college football with a chance to really impress at USC.
If you’re interested in Harrell’s coaching style, here’s a video of him mic’d up during a North Texas practice: