When USC came out and said someone was acting independently and reaching out to coaches on their behalf, I like a lot of people just thought it was a way to deflect the attention of their coaching search starting poorly. Now thanks to Deadspin, the person behind all this has been identified. His name is Ken Tarr. He started off pulling the pranks in the entertainment industry but has recently turned his attention to sports.
According to the article, he has contacted multiple coaches in the past few weeks : Mike Riley, Sonny Dykes, Dabo Swinney, Jay Gruden, David Shaw. He even spoke with Mark Jackson about the Lakers job. The best part of all this is when he spoke with San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt about the Texas job. Here is the partial transcript:
Whisenhunt: And what kind of position are you talking about?
Tarr: Well, it’s been talked about quite a bit about Mack Brown, and unfortunately, Mr. Dodds is going to be resigning. The potential is maybe, you know, for you to lead the program. I wanted to first, like, reach out. Eventually, of course, Mr. Dodds will be calling himself. I’m actually in Los Angeles, and I was going to maybe see about arranging to go down to San Diego in the next couple days. Like I said, I don’t want to create a stir or anything. I’m just basically trying to gauge whether or not you’ve got a passion for Longhorn football at all.
Whisenhunt: Sure. Sure, I think it’s a great program. I’ve got a lot of respect. I’ve had a lot number of guys in my program. Sam Acho is one of the guys that played under me, and I have a lot of respect for the program, and certainly the history of it. So, absolutely.
Tarr: Excellent, excellent, great. Well, I like a lot of what you’re doing with the young man from Chadron State—Woodhead—and I keep following the team, and as it will progress I think we’ll probably be reaching out to a lot of different candidates. I’ll make it very clear that you’re the one that I would like to select, and we’ll go from there.
I am absolutely stunned that Tarr’s methods actually work. The thing is, if this is how shady it is when coaches start thinking about leaving for other jobs, then no wonder it worked. In Whisenhunt’s case he even started naming players he coached that went to Texas to start building his case.
He really is just calling coaches from his basement and talking big time jobs. Just incredible.