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USC announces Sanders, Hazelton hirings

USC head coach Lane Kiffin has officially filled two of three assistant coaching vacancies, hiring former Nebraska assistant Marvin Sanders to coach defensive backs and ex-North Dakota State defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton to coach linebackers.

Sanders was hired as Florida Atlantic's defensive coordinator in December after three seasons as Nebraska's defensive backs coach. Hazelton has never coached at the FBS level but won the FCS championship at NDSU in 2011.

“We are delighted to add Marvin and Scottie to the Trojan Family,” Kiffin said in a statement released Thursday. “Both not only have made their marks while coaching their respective positions, but both have been collegiate defensive coordinators and that should help us tremendously.

“Marvin had great success coaching the defensive backs at Nebraska and we believe that will translate well to our secondary, which is the most critical area we need to improve upon in 2012. Scottie is coming to us after helping North Dakota State win the NCAA FCS championship and coordinating a defense that led the nation in scoring defense in 2011, after it was 90th in that category before he took it over just two years ago.”

Kiffin initially announced the hirings at USC's annual Junior Day on Sunday, telling recruits both Sanders and Hazelton were coming aboard to be new position coaches.

Sanders replaces Willie Mack Garza, who resigned on the eve of the regular season last September. Hazelton takes over for Joe Barry, who left for the NFL's San Diego Chargers earlier this month.

Kiffin also convinced Kentucky assistant Tee Martin to become the Trojans' new receivers coach on Wednesday night; that hiring has yet to become official.