USC athletic director search: in-house employee Ed Stewart has a strong case
USC could go outside the Trojan family for its next athletic director, but there are several very attractive in-house candidates or, if not that, candidates who have previously worked at USC who would not require a significant education process in transitioning to the athletic director job. They would instantly know what to do and how to do it. They would know exactly what to expect.
We joined the Trojan Conquest Live show on Sunday night at 8 p.m. Eastern. The link is at YouTube, but we are already rolling out the list of candidates revealed on that broadcast with help from college sports consultant Tony Altimore. You can check out the various categories of candidates, such as the six people USC must first give a phone call to, but the in-house candidates require and deserve special attention.
In this article, we’ll look at one of those candidates, Ed Stewart, who is the executive senior associate athletic director for football administration. If you aren’t familiar with him, consider this a basic primer on what he would bring to the table if chosen as the new AD (and possibly as the interim or acting AD, though USC President Carol Folt had not appointed an acting AD as of 10 a.m. on Monday, May 22):
Welcome to the #TrojanFamily, Ed Stewart!
Stewart will join @USC_mikebohn’s leadership team as the Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Football Administration. pic.twitter.com/Gk0Y12RNLa
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) August 5, 2022
Ed Stewart spent 16 years working for (and within) the Big 12 Conference, helping former Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. He helped negotiate bowl game contracts, among other high-profile football responsibilities.
BIG TEN EXPERIENCE
Stewart has spent mutliple years within the football program at Michigan State (note: not during Mel Tucker’s tenure — long before that). So, he does have experience working within the Big Ten. That certainly helps.
NATIONAL CHAMPION AT NEBRASKA
Stewart was a member of Nebraska’s 1994 national championship football team. He was named to the Nebraska Football All-Century Team in 2001 and was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2004. He definitely understands — and has been part of — elite football programs and what makes them successful.
Stewart has earned degrees from both Michigan State and Nebraska. Even if you count Nebraska as a Big 12 program, given that Stewart attended the school well before it joined the Big Ten, Stewart’s work at Michigan State gives him thorough knowledge of the conference. The fact that Stewart has ties to a new Big Ten member and a longstanding Big Ten school gives him multiple layers of Big Ten knowledge.