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Trojans Getting Promotions

Kris Richard is one of four under-the-radar Trojans who have recently been promoted.
Kris Richard is one of four under-the-radar Trojans who have recently been promoted.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Amid the high-profile coaching moves like Jim Harbaugh, Rex Ryan, and John Fox, there have been many more subtle moves made by NFL teams around the league.

Among these relatively under-the-radar moves, USC Trojans have seemed to be getting a lot of love this offseason. Along with Jack Del Rio, here's four under-the-radar former USC Trojans have elevated their job status as of late:

1. Kris Richard, Defensive Coordinator, Seattle Seahawks

Richard was promoted to coordinator after working as Seattle's defensive backs coach since 2012. He played cornerback at USC under Pete Carroll.

Richard has largely been credited with taking players like Richard Sherman (5th round pick), Brandon Browner (street free agent), Byron Maxwell (6th round pick) and Jeremy Lane (7th round pick) and turning them into high-level NFL starters. Richard has also led one of the best overall pass defenses in the NFL over the past three years.

When former Seahawks' defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was hired as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Richard became the natural replacement. The former Trojan will hope to follow in the footsteps of Quinn and Quinn's predecessor, Gus Bradley, both of whom leveraged their coordinator positions into head coaching jobs after stints with the Seahawks.

2. Ken Norton Jr., Defensive Coordinator, Oakland Raiders

Even though he played his college ball at UCLA, Norton Jr. coached linebackers at USC under Pete Carroll from 2004-2009. He mentored notable Trojan linebackers Lofa Tatupu (who we'll get to later), Brian Cushing, Keith Rivers, Rey Maualuga and Clay Matthews III.

Norton Jr. won three Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers, but most recently won a Super Bowl as the linebackers coach on the Seattle Seahawks' coaching staff under Carroll in 2014.

With the Seahawks, Norton Jr. was credited for developing high-level players like Bobby Wagner (2nd round pick), K.J. Wright (5th round), Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith (7th round), and defensive-end-turned-linebacker Bruce Irvin recognized Norton Jr. for "saving Irvin's career."

Norton Jr. will now serve as an NFL defensive coordinator for the first time in his career in Oakland under another former Trojan, Jack Del Rio.

3. Joe Barry, Defensive Coordinator, Washington

Barry played linebacker at SC from 1990-1993 before his one-year stint as a graduate assistant with the Trojans, which launched his coaching career.

Barry returned to USC in 2010 as a linebackers' coach, only to be hired by the San Diego Chargers one year later for the same position.

He will now serve as the defensive coordinator under Jay Gruden, where he will be charged with turning around a defense that ranked 30th last year.

4. Lofa Tatupu, Assistant Linebackers Coach, Seattle Seahawks

Although he was considered relatively undersized for a middle linebacker, Tatupu was a standout during his two seasons playing for USC, making the All-American team in 2004, and was a three-time Pro-Bowler and made first team All-Pro in 2007, all with the Seattle Seahawks.

Tatupu's playing career was ended by injuries, and his recent hiring by the Seahawks marks his first coaching experience.

Former Seattle teammate Matt Hasselbeck thinks Tatupu's hiring was a good move by the Seahawks:

Tatupu now enters a system in Seattle that has seen a lot of success in terms of coaches being promoted and hired elsewhere. As previously mentioned, Gus Bradley, Dan Quinn, Kris Richard, and Ken Norton Jr. all started on Seattle's defensive coaching staff and have made significant names for themselves.