*The University of Southern California has hired former wide receiver and alumnus Lynn Swann to be its next athletic director, the school announced Wednesday.
Swann, 64, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, will succeed Pat Haden, who will step down effective June 30.
“This new role as AD fits with my life focus of leadership, mentoring young people, helping others and giving them the tools they need to grow and achieve,” Swann said in a statement.
Swann was among more than 200 candidates considered, USC president Max Nikias said. Although Swann has no experience in high-level collegiate athletic administration, he is the third straight former USC football player to take the post.
Swann, a four-time Super Bowl champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers, played for the Trojans and was selected with the 21st overall pick of the NFL draft in 1974. He graduated from the university with a bachelor’s degree in public relations.
He won a national championship at USC while playing for John McKay in 1972, when the Trojans went 12-0. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
“I am very pleased to announce that Lynn Swann has accepted by offer to become USC’s next athletic director,” Nikias said in a statement. “To his new role, Mr. Swann will bring the heart and soul of a Trojan. …
After Swann played on two Rose Bowl teams with the Trojans, he became an NFL star with the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning the Super Bowl MVP award in 1976 during a nine-year career. He joined the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
Swann went on to a lengthy broadcasting career, and he served as the chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports from 2002-05. He has also served on the boards of several large corporations.
Swann ran for governor in Pennsylvania in 2006 as the Republican candidate, losing to incumbent Ed Rendell.
The 63-year-old Haden, a former USC quarterback, has said that he’ll remain with the school for one year to help guide the renovation of the Coliseum. He has run the Trojans’ athletic department for 5½ years, taking over from Mike Garrett in 2010 with a primary mandate to lead the Trojans through a multiyear stretch of NCAA sanctions against its vaunted football program.
USC has won 10 national championships in other sports during Haden’s past five years, second only to the University of Florida in that span.