LOS ANGELES (KABC) --USC's new athletic director, Lynn Swann, says he wants the university's student-athletes to graduate, win and experience college life.
"If you're working to be No. 1, you're going to get the most out of yourself and the most out of your program," Swann said. "Anybody who's working to be less than No. 1. is going to get less than what they're capable of, so we will push these teams to be national champions and to be the best that they can be."
The Pro Football Hall of Famer spoke out for the first time during a news conference Thursday morning, expressing his delight to be back at his alma mater.
"There are a lot of things in my life that I think I planned for. This was not necessarily one of them, but it's one of those great unexpected outcomes I think that I'm looking forward to and I think I've been building for for a long period of time," he said.
USC President Max Nikias announced the appointment of the former Trojans receiver, who will succeed Pat Haden on July 1.
Swann, 64, was among more than 200 candidates considered for the position atop the high-profile department, Nikias said.
Although the Pro Football Hall of Famer has no experience in collegiate athletic administration, Swann is the third straight former USC football player to get the post.
He returns to the school where he played on two Rose Bowl teams and won a national championship in 1972 while earning a degree in public relations.
Swann became an NFL star with the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning four championships and the 1976 Super Bowl MVP award during a nine-year career. He joined the 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, but USC said he will drop most of those commitments in the next few months after Haden drew criticism for his extensive outside corporate interests.
Swann ran for governor in Pennsylvania in 2006 as the Republican candidate, losing to incumbent Ed Rendell.
"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."
Haden will stay at the school for another year to guide the renovations of the Coliseum.
The Associated Press and ESPN contributed to this report