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“I hope he goes somewhere and makes me look like an idiot,” Haden said.

Kiffin, who coached alongside Sarkisian for much of their USC tenure, was fired by Haden in late September after a 3-2 start to his fourth season in charge.

Although he went 28-15 and had a standout season in 2011, Kiffin had an awful fall from a preseason No. 1 ranking in 2012 and never reached the heights expected by USC’s zealous fans and alumni. His standoffish personality also alienated people used to the folksy, convivial Carroll.

Sarkisian is much more in Carroll’s mode, carrying himself with more ease and confidence than Kiffin. He’s also considered a formidable recruiter in the Los Angeles area whose job just got much easier.

“A lot of the kids that have committed here, I’ve already got them on my radar,” Sarkisian said. “We’re going to assemble a tremendous staff to make all that happen.”