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Garrett Will Be Remembered For Bringing USC Back To Prominence

Ryan Nunez |
July 20, 2010 | 12:50 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Welcome back to the Pac, USC.

After 17 years, Mike Garrett’s Tuesday dismissal signifies the end of an era.

On the surface, the man has left the program in shambles with very few positives to point to. However, history tells us that dynasties rarely end gracefully and USC athletics will not be the exception to this rule.

The bottom line is that Garrett built a resolute legacy of pride and winning that will prove to be stronger than the temporary stench currently surrounding the program. Many casual fans will equate Garrett with the upheaval and embarrassment that brought an end to this era, but the true legacy of Michael Lockett Garrett will be the return to prominence and the subsequent dominance of USC athletics.

The 1965 Heisman Trophy winner was brought to USC, ostensibly, to do one thing: return the Trojans to their rightful place as a national sports powerhouse. Mission accomplished.

Back-to-back AP titles in 2003 and 2004 were just the tip of the iceberg for Garrett. He brought back the SC Heisman winner, reversed the Trojans’ losing ways against archenemies UCLA and Notre Dame (running off overrated big-name coaches in favor of legacy coach to-be Pete Carroll), and made Rose Bowl appearances as commonplace as Pac-10 titles.

For those of you who believe that Garrett only achieved success for SC football, you are sorely mistaken. Men’s and women’s water polo, men’s tennis, and women’s volleyball and golf all enjoyed a renaissance period under Garrett. The man made all the right moves for 10-plus years.

And then O.J. Mayo (his initials should’ve been a warning to Garrett) and Reggie Bush came along.

If Bush hadn’t ripped off his aspiring agents to-be and/or had just paid them off before the lawsuit was filed and the press was alerted, we’d all be wishing Garrett luck on the upcoming season.

Instead, we’re ushering in another former USC football legend, Pat Haden, and trying to forget Garrett.

Garrett is gone, but his legacy will live on for a long time, if not forever. SC fans of all generations “expect” to win nowadays, and there is only one man to thank for that.

To reach staff writer Ryan Nunez, click here.



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