Michael Lockett Garrett, born April 12, 1944, is a former American football player who won the Heisman Trophy in 1965 as a halfback for the USC Trojans. Garrett played professional football for eight seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers. From 1993 until 2010 he was the athletic director at the University of Southern California (USC).
A two-time All-American, Garrett set numerous NCAA, Pac-8 Conference, and USC records in his career with his then unheard-of 3,221 yards and scored 30 touchdowns. Garrett also led the nation in rushing in 1965 with 267 carries for 1,440 yards. Garrett was awarded the 1965 W. J. Voit Memorial Trophy as the outstanding football player on the Pacific Coast. He won the Heisman Trophy after the 1965 regular season. In 1985 he was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Mike Garrett signaled the dawn of the “Tailback U” era, where USC produced a stream of top tailbacks including Heisman winners O. J. Simpson (1968), Charles White (1979), and Marcus Allen (1981).
Mike Garrett went on to play in the American Football League (AFL) with Kansas City Chiefs from 1966 to 1969 and in 1970 as the Chiefs moved to the National Football League in 1970. He was traded to the San Diego Chargers and remained with them until 1973. He was a two-time AFL All-Star; in 1966 and 1967. He played in the first AFL–NFL World Championship Game, now referred to as Super Bowl I, with the Chiefs after the 1966 season. Then he won a World Championship ring with the Chiefs in Super Bowl IV, the last AFL–NFL World Championship Game before the AFL–NFL merger, against NFL’s Vikings, 23–7. In his eight professional football seasons, Garrett rushed for 5,481 yards, caught 238 passes for 2,010 yards, returned 14 kickoffs for 323 yards, and returned 39 punts for 235 yards. Overall, Mike Garrett gained a total of 8,049 yards and scored 49 touchdowns (35 rushings, 13 receiving, 1 punt return). Garrett also was drafted three times by professional baseball teams.
After his professional football career, Mike Garrett earned a Juris Doctor from Western State University College of Law in 1986. He was the director of business development for the Great Western Forum and worked in the district attorney’s office in San Diego. He also did color commentary for USC football telecasts. In January 1993, Garrett returned to USC to become its sixth athletic director. He came under fire when he hired Pete Carroll as head football coach in 2001, but was vindicated when USC returned to status as a dominant football power. In 2010 the USC football program was hit with severe NCAA sanctions. On July 20, 2010, USC’s incoming president, announced major changes in the athletic department, including Garrett’s replacement (effective August 3, 2010) by former USC quarterback Pat Haden. Garrett late took the athletic director position at Langston University, Oklahoma. He is a board member for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.