The Trojans have been searching for a new defensive coordinator ever since head coach Clay Helton fired Justin Wilcox following a 41-22 loss to the Stanford Cardinal in the PAC-12 championship game. The Trojans were linked to several candidates, with one sticking out the most: Clancy Pendergast.
Pendergast was the defensive coordinator for the Trojans during the 2013 season. Under his reign, the Trojan defense was top 16th in the nation in both yards per game (335) and points per game (21.2). The Trojans were also number six in defensive efficiency according to ESPN.com.
After weeks of speculation and rumors, it appears that Pendergast is set to return to the Trojan sidelines for the 2016 season. According to FootballScoop, Pendergast will rejoin the Trojans as defensive coordinator, barring any paperwork issues.
Source tells FootballScoop barring contractual issues, Clancy Pendergast will become new DC at USC https://t.co/sNnVtycOD5
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) January 6, 2016
Pendergast did a phenomenal job with the Trojans during his lone season in 2013, The Trojans were handcuffed due to sanctions and Pendergast still managed to turn the team into the PAC-12's top rated defense. Pendergast will have the likes of Adoree' Jackson and freshman standouts Cameron Smith and Iman Marshall at his disposal. The biggest area of concern will be the defensive line, which will have to deal with the departure of leader Antwaun Woods.
Pendergast has coached in the PAC-12 for a total of four seasons, one at USC and three at CAL. In three out of those four seasons, his defense has ranked as the best in the PAC-12.