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Volume 27 No. 35
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Lynn Swann Dishes On Becoming USC AD, Coliseum Renovation

Swann’s 30-minute interview covered both his business background and his playing days
Photo: Tony Florez

Most people in the room at the ’18 CAA World Congress of Sports yesterday probably didn’t remember that Lynn Swann primarily lined up on the right side of the field during his playing days. So, when NFL Network host Steve Wyche, the moderator for Swann’s one-on-one interview, took the seat on the right, USC’s AD had a quick response: “You’re in my chair.” Swann’s 30-minute interview covered his business background and his playing days as one of the best wide receivers to play the game, both of which helped prepare him for the AD chair at his alma mater even though he had never previously worked in athletic administration. “I had served on the boards of global companies,” Swann told the audience. “That’s helped me run a better business practice.” 

SOLID GROUND: The Pro Football HOFer, who won four Super Bowls in nine NFL seasons, said he found the Trojans’ athletic department in solid shape when he took over in April '16 for Pat Haden. “We had a solid core with our staff, so my charge was not to clean house,” Swann said. Despite his distinguished football background, Swann made it clear that “I do not call plays. We have coaches we’ve hired to do that and I let them do their job. My job is to help the coach be a good manager.” Swann was asked about the $270M renovation to United Airlines Memorial Coliseum and he came back with an interesting story about an original piece of rebar that sits in his office. “It’s not round, it’s square,” he said. “That’s how it was in that time period,” referring to the Coliseum, which opened in 1923.