The USC Trojans appear to have found their defensive coordinator. Lane Kiffin has reportedly hired former Cal defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast to take over on the defensive side, and will look to turn around a USC defense that hemhorraged points and yards during their end-of-the-season stumble.
Pendergast has mostly been an NFL defensive coordinator, including putting together an Arizona Cardinals defense that lifted the team to a surprise Super Bowl bid in 2009. Pendergast was let go after some critical lapses in that Super Bowl, then spent a year with the Kansas City Chiefs before being relieved of his duties there too. Pendergast has been at Cal the last three years and has had some stalwart defenses to coach. The first two seasons he was at Cal, Pendergast's Bears had the top total defense in the Pac-12 and helped prop a struggling Cal offense up. Pendergast was relieved of his duties when Cal head coach Jeff Tedford was fired at the end of the 2012 season.
Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti was also contacted about the vacancy after Chip Kelly made his move to the Philadelphia Eagles. But the long-time Ducks DC declined the offer and USC went ahead with hiring Pendergast.
USC released defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin after the Trojans defense stumbled down the stretch and struggled to stop numerous teams. The famed NFL defensive mind has moved back to the pros, where he will coordinate the Dallas Cowboys on that end of the football.