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USC coaching search: Lovie Smith interviewed; Sarkisian on radar

Could Lovie Smith be the next coach at USC?
Could Lovie Smith be the next coach at USC? (USATSI)

For more news and notes from Jason La Canfora, tune into The NFL Today Sunday at noon ET on CBS.

USC, seeking a replacement for fired coach Lane Kiffin, has already interviewed former Bears coach Lovie Smith for the position, according to a league source. It would ideally love to land former Super Bowl winning coach Jon Gruden, but that won't be happening.

Smith was let go by the Bears following a 10-6 season in 2012, and was not a hot name with head coaching openings in the NFL last offseason, but could get more consideration this offseason with more openings expected. Smith has a deep history in the college game as well.

Early last month Smith's son, who serves as his agent, denied a report that an interview with USC had taken place at that time, but, according to a source, the school has spoken with Smith. USC is not commenting on the process.

Sources said that University of Washington coach Steve Sarkisian was well positioned to land that position, though a recent three-game losing streak may have cooled his star some. Gruden, if he returns to the sidelines from the broadcast booth, would most likely do so at the pro level

Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday during the season on The NFL Today.
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