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Pair of USC Assistants Could Be Potential Head Coaching Targets

USC could see an offensive assistant and its defensive coordinator take head coaching jobs at nearby schools.

Will Justin Wilcox be coaching the USC D next year?
Will Justin Wilcox be coaching the USC D next year?
Shotgun Spratling/Conquest Chronicles

The regular season has concluded in Troy, which means USC will await to see which bowl game it is headed to. However, head coach Steve Sarkisian may see a pair of assistants bolt for head coaching jobs before the season even comes to a conclusion.

UNLV is looking for a new head coach after the Rebels and Bobby Hauck parted ways. A name that has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the job is USC receivers coach and passing game coordinator Tee Martin. Most remember Martin from his days playing quarterback and leading Tennessee to the BCS national title in 1998. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, and Martin also spent time in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders, as well as in NFL Europe and the Canadian Football League until his playing career ended in 2005.

Since then, the 36-year old Martin has made a steady rise up the coaching ranks, arriving at USC in 2012. He has tutored and developed stud Trojan receivers such as Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor and before that molded Randall Cobb from a high school quarterback to an NFL receiver at Kentucky. The Alabama native coordinated a 2014 passing game at USC that averaged 294.6 yards-per-game and scored 36 touchdowns.

Martin is no stranger to the Mountain West, as he served as quarterbacks coach at New Mexico in 2009. He is also known as one of the best recruiters in the country, which is something UNLV can definitely use from its next head coach.

Las Vegas has far more talent than many people believe, plus Martin would be able to use his experience recruiting at USC to get talent from up and down the West Coast to head to Sin City. According to, former and still-popular USC assistant coach Ed Orgeron has also been connected to the UNLV head coaching job.

Other names such as former SMU head coach June Jones, former Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt and Bishop Gorman High School (Nevada) head coach Tony Sanchez are also on the Rebels' radar.

Another assistant coach on Sarkisian's staff who may be a head coaching target is defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. The Trojans' defensive chief has been bantered about by some as a replacement candidate at Oregon State for Mike Riley, who shockingly bolted Corvallis for Nebraska on Thursday morning.

Wilcox, age 38, is a respected defensive mind in the coaching ranks, as he has coordinated defenses at Boise State, Tennessee and Washington before arriving at USC this year. He oversaw a defensive unit that saw cornerback Adoree Jackson emerge as the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of The Year, safety Su'a Cravens become a star and defensive lineman Leonard Williams entrench himself as a likely top-five pick in next year's NFL draft.

Wilcox is a former safety who played at Oregon from 1996-1999. However, he presumably wouldn't let his former allegiance get in the way of him landing a head coaching job.

Stay tuned to see if the Trojans indeed will see Martin and Wilcox leave to take over programs elsewhere, but do you want either of the coaches to go and open up a spot for some other coach?