Steve Sarkisian has already informed the media his staff should be coming together in the coming days and given some of his recent moves this week, we are now starting to learn who will and will not be returning.
The most recent name off the chopping block will be linebackers coach Mike Ekeler, who announced at practice Tuesdayhe will not be returning to the program.
He joins offensive line coaches Mike Summers and James Cregg, who will also not be returning next season. This news comes alongside confirmed reports USC has reached out and offered Baltimore Ravens line coach Todd Washington the offensive line job here in Southern California.
What remains a bit of mystery, however, centers around the fate of special teams coordinator John Baxter. Since Baxter is well respected among the USC athletic program and Sarkisian has already hired his former special teams assistant (among many roles) in Johnny Nansen, another role might emerge for his services.
A source tells me #USC special teams coach John Baxter could be switched to an academic role if he is not retained by Steve Sarkisian— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) December 11, 2013
While the biggest question mark remains centered around Clancy Pendergast and his future as defensive coordinator, Sarkisian sat down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with Yogi Roth of Pac-12 Networks to discuss his hiring, the formation of that strong staff and the confidence he has in this program to win championships.
AMONG THE HIGHLIGHTS
- On leaving his 105 former players in Seattle: "I never want to have to experience that again"
- On walking into the McKay Center: "I was trying to remain composed and not say WOW and just so fired up"
- On the current USC roster: "We need to improve the depth to sustain a competitive environment"
- On his roots in Southern California: "Recruiting is about relationships. We (in Washington) always recruited well here"
The Trojans will not be practicing until Saturday as players embrace the grind of Finals Week and look to finish up the fall semester in grand fashion before heading off to Las Vegas next Wednesday for the bowl game. For more information on that game which takes place December 21st, please check out our Bulldogs vs Trojans coverage.