What Remains and Changes From Last Year's Staff

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Just before the start of 2014, Steve Sarkisian has filled out all but one spot on his coaching staff for next year with the recent hires of Justin Wilcox, Marques Tuiasosopo and Tim Drevno.

With all but the defensive line coach spot yet to be filled, Steve Sarkisian has almost his entire coaching staff filled out after yesterday’s announcement that Justin Wilcox, Marques Tuiasosopo and Tim Drevno were hired as assistants.

Wilcox will serve as the Trojans defensive coordinator, Tuiasosopo will be the tight ends coach and Drevno will coach the offensive line in addition to serving as the running game coordinator.

Wilcox and Tuiasosopo both come by way of Washington as former assistants on Sarkisian’s staff this year with the Huskies, while Drevno was nabbed from the San Francisco 49ers. Washington’s season ended Friday at the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, a 31-16 win over BYU. The 49ers, on the other hand, have clinched a playoff spot, and Drevno will start working with the Trojan staff after San Fransisco’s season ends.

Wilcox and Tuiasosopo join Keith Heyward, Johnny Nansen and Peter Sirmon as former Washington assistants to follow Sarkisian over to USC. Heyward will coach the defensive backs, Nansen will serve as the running backs coach as well as the special teams coordinator and Sirmon will lead the linebackers. Sirmon will also be the recruiting coordinator.

The quintet from Washington replaces Clancy Pendergast, Tommie Robinson, John Baxter and Mike Ekeler. Pendergast served as both defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach last year, Tommie Robinson was the running backs coach, John Baxter was the special teams coordinator as well as the tight ends coach and Mike Ekeler was the linebackers coach.

Drevno replaces both James Cregg and Mike Summers from last year’s staff, who shared the role of offensive line coach.

Retained from last year’s staff are Tee Martin and Clay Helton. Martin will remain as the wide receivers coach and Clay Helton, who served as the interim coach during the Trojans’ victory in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, will return as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, though Sarkisian said he will call plays on offense.

No more additions are expected to the offensive staff, but a gap remains at the defensive line coach after Ed Orgeron resigned before the Trojans’ bowl game. He remained the defensive line coach after being promoted to interim head coach when Lane Kiffin was fired. Orgeron was offered the job by Sarkisian, but Orgeron is pursuing head coaching jobs elsewhere around the country, though he has yet to be hired.

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