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Haden leaves NBC booth to become USC athletic director

At a press conference later today, the University of Southern California will announce that athletic director Mike Garrett is retiring and NBC television analyst Pat Haden will step out of the booth at Notre Dame stadium and take over the job of athletic director at Southern Cal.

This from the official release from new USC president-elect Max Nikias:

After Mike Garrett’s 17 years of valued service as director of athletics, and as a new administration prepares to take office on August 3, 2010, the opportunity has arisen to bring new leadership to the athletic department. I thank Mr. Garrett, USC’s first Heisman Trophy winner and a tireless advocate of USC athletics, for his work on behalf of our Trojan Family.

I am very pleased that Patrick C. Haden has accepted my offer to become USC’s next athletic director, effective August 3. In order to assume his new responsibilities, Mr. Haden has resigned from his post as a member of the USC Board of Trustees, which he joined in 1991, and will report directly to me.

Garrett leaving the athletic department was almost a foreseen conclusion after the NCAA put USC on four years probation after committing major rules violations, mostly within the football and basketball programs.

Haden was an Academic All-American for the Trojans where he played quarterback and went on to become a Rhodes Scholar. After a playing career in the NFL, he got into broadcasting and has spent the past 12 years in the broadcast booth covering Notre Dame football. Haden is also a partner at private equity firm Riordan, Lewis & Haden Los Angeles.

Dick Ebersol, Chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics had this to say about Haden’s move back to Sout:

“For a dozen years, Pat Haden has been a very talented and key member of our Notre Dame television team. He will be sorely missed. It is absolutely unsurprising and typical that Pat would want to be there for his beloved alma mater in a time of need. His integrity, his talent and his engaging manner are just what the Trojans need.”

There is no word yet on who will replace Haden in the broadcast booth for Notre Dame games.