USC: Carl Pelini

One-on-one with Marvin Sanders

February, 28, 2012
New USC defensive backs coach Marvin Sanders was just getting used to his new job at Florida Atlantic when the Trojans came calling earlier this month, but he found he couldn't resist Lane Kiffin's recruiting efforts. Kiffin had initially looked at the former Nebraska assistant for the DBs vacancy when Willie Mack Garza resigned last September, since Sanders had left the Huskers in February.

After taking the full 2011 season off, Sanders then signed on to be the defensive coordinator at FAU under Carl Pelini in December, but he quickly scrapped those plans and will now coach Nickell Robey, T.J. McDonald and the USC secondary.

Here's an interview with the 44-year-old coach following a Trojan throwing session last week.

Question: So you're probably an expert in getting acclimated to new jobs by now, right?

Answer: I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. It's a little bit of both, I think. You have to understand that's part of the profession. Any time you have an opportunity like USC, whatever it takes to get here is easy.

Q: New receivers coach Tee Martin told me he turned down Lane's offer at first and then eventually changed his mind. What was your thought process like?

A: You get a chance to talk to Lane and you realize why he's the head coach at 'SC at such a young age. He just has so much -- I don't know if talent's the right word -- but there's something about him that you know he's going to be successful. He can really sell USC football.

Q: Had you ever talked to him before?

A: Briefly. And I had a good relationship with his dad, who's a Nebraska guy as well. It was just kind of a good fit for us.

Q: When you take a new job, how much of the decision whether or not to take it depends on the coaches and infrastructure in place and how much depends on the players currently there? Which one's more important?

A: It's a combination of a whole lot of things. It's a combination of being the right fit for your family, No. 1, and the right fit for coaching staffs both ways -- me to them and them to me. And talent plays a factor in it, too. You want to be in a situation where you can win a lot of games and compete at the highest level. At USC, you have that every time you step on the field.

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