Sunday, February 12, 2012
LB, DB coaching positions filled
By Pedro Moura
USC coach Lane Kiffin announced the hiring of two assistant coaches at Sunday's Junior Day, according to multiple media reports.
Marvin Sanders will coach defensive backs and Scottie Hazelton will coach linebackers. A program source told ESPNLosAngeles.com the hirings were being finalized Sunday and would be formally announced at some point Monday.
Sanders was hired in December by Florida Atlantic after taking the 2011 season off, resigning from Nebraska last February for "personal and family reasons." In coming to USC, he fills an opening created by Willie Mack Garza's September resignation; grad assistant Sammy Knight had served as the interim position coach during the 2011 season but wasn't seriously considered for the full-time vacancy.
Hazelton has never played or coached at the FBS level but spent the last two seasons as the defensive coordinator at North Dakota State. At a previous stop at the school, he worked with Gus Bradley, who worked with Monte Kiffin in Tampa Bay and now works as the defensive coordinator under Pete Carroll for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.
Hazelton replaces Joe Barry, who left for the NFL's San Diego Chargers earlier this month. Both Hazelton and Sanders have worked extensively with the Cover-2 defense.
USC now has only one opening to fill -- wide receivers coach -- before spring practice starts March 6. Ted Gilmore left for the NFL's Oakland Raiders last week.
Potential candidates for that job are believed to include former USC receiver and grad assistant Keary Colbert, former UCLA interim head coach Mike Johnson, Arizona State receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander and Clemson receivers coach Jeff Scott, among others.
Kiffin told ESPN.com's Ted Miller last week he hoped to fill all three openings by the end of the upcoming week.