Clay Helton adds another coach to his staff. USC officially announced the hiring of Joe DeForest as its new outside linebackers coach Friday afternoon in a press release. The hire of DeForest completes the 2019 coaching staff.
The 2019 USC football coaching staff is complete with the announcement of Joe DeForest as the Outside Linebackers Coach.— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) December 21, 2018
DeForest has 29 years of collegiate coaching experience. #FightOn pic.twitter.com/CnoCMvRIJm
DeForest brings 29 years of coaching experience to the Trojans coaching staff. Previously he coached at Kansas as the special teams coordinator in 2016 and 2017, before joining the USC staff as a defensive analyst. DeForest spent four seasons (2012-2015) at West Virginia as its defensive coordinator and associate head coach in his first year, before spending the final two as safeties coach and special teams coordinator. He’s also coached at Oklahoma State, Rice, and Duke.
He will have a talented batch of linebackers in Kana’i Mauga, Jordan Iosefa, Juliano Falaniko, Abdul-Malik McClain, and Hunter Echols. DeForest will also get incoming freshmen Ralen Goforth, Maninoa Tufono, and Stanley Ta’ufo’ou who just signed with the Trojans during the Early Signing Period.
USC filled out the remainder of its staff by doing some shuffling around. Kerry Colbert now assumes the title of wide receivers coach while John Baxter will now take over the roll of tight ends coach, as well as keeping the special teams coordinator role. Colbert moving over to coach wide receivers makes sense, as he is a former wide receiver at USC and the NFL and has had experience coaching the position from a previous stint at Georgia State. Tim Drevno will have the interim tag taken off as he is now the full time offensive line coach. Drevno was previously the running backs coach before replacing Neil Callaway after the team’s loss to Arizona State back in October. The Trojans hired Mike Jinks to coach the running backs back in early December which likely meant that Drevno would coach the offensive line.
The hiring of DeForest could also pressure Baxter. USC’s special teams has severely under performed the last two seasons under Baxter. If that continues into the 2019 season, it could prompt Helton to make a change at special teams coordinator and DeForest has a lot of experience with a proven track record there.