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Kiffin hires Defensive Back, Linebackers Coaches; Both Connected to Monte

Word from Football is that Kiffin has made a couple of hires on the defensive coaching side of the house:

USC: We have confirmed that FAU defensive coordinator Marvin Sanders will join the USC staff as defensive backs coach. We have also heard from multiple sources that North Dakota State defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton will be named linebackers coach.

My first response was positive about Scottie Hazelton, as NDSU completed a turnaround season last year to go 14 - 1 and win the FCS Championship against Sam Houston State. Sanders' association with FAU rang alarm bells (they lost all but one game last year) until it became clear that he had joined Carl Pellini there to rebuild after Howard Schnellenberger's retirement.

And that became clear because Husker Mike over at has a memory that, unlike mine, goes more than 10 minutes back:

What's the link here? Southern Cal defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin originally recommended that Frank Solich select Bo Pelini back in 2002. Those connections assuredly have led his son (and Southern Cal head coach) Lane Kiffin to look towards Sanders.

Those connections with the Nebraska coaching tree are also leading to another coaching change. is also reporting that Southern Cal will hire North Dakota State defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton as linebackers coach. North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl was Bo Pelini's predecessor at Nebraska.

I know that Nebraska's been up and down over the last few years on defense, but these two hires plainly aren't coming out of nowhere, and if Hazelton worked some magic at NDSU, he can probably do good work at SC as well.

In any case, welcome to both Marvin Sanders and Scottie Hazleton - Fight On!