Pro Football Hall of Famer and University of Southern California legend Lynn Swann is returning to his alma mater as athletic director. Among his list of responsibilities is to guide the perennially good Trojans football team back to great.
On Wednesday, after Swann was introduced as the new AD by university President C. L. Max Nikias, he quickly addressed his priorities.
“As athletic director, my goals for the student-athletes will be to graduate, to win and to experience,” said Swann, who won a national championship as a wide receiver for the Trojans in 1972 and graduated with a degree in public relations.
“USC opened doors for me,” Swann said. “I learned about myself, and my education created a pathway to go forward. I was always looking toward preparing for that career beyond football.”
After going on to win four Super Bowls with the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, Swann carved out a lengthy career as a sports broadcaster with ABC as well as served more than 30 years as president and on the executive board of the mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
In 2006, he unsuccessfully ran for governor in Pennsylvania.
“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,” said Swann, 64.
Swann becomes the third consecutive former Trojan football star to hold the athletic director title. Running back Mike Garrett ran the sports program from 1993 to 2010 and quarterback Pat Haden, who announced in February that he was stepping down, has been in charge since 2010.
USC said in a statement that Swann was selected from a field of more than 200 candidates.