John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE
The USC Trojans are considering candidates like fired Auburn head coach Gene Chizik, recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron, former linebacker coach Joe Barry, and Miami defensive coordinator Randy Shannon.
Gene Chizik had a tough finish to his time at Auburn, but he will probably find himself work soon as a coordinator. One possibility might be the open USC defensive coordinator position.
ESPNLA Radio is reporting Gene Chizik may be a candidate for the DC position at USC. I'd call that a step up the ladder.— Maggie (@maggiethecat27) November 30, 2012
Although Chizik struggled as a head coach at Iowa State and Auburn, he's always been a first-rate defensive mind. His defenses at Auburn helped lead the Tigers to two national championship, and he was part of the Texas staff that beat USC (admittedly, it was a game without much defense) in the 2006 Rose Bowl game.
What might really help Chizik to earn a job at USC is his relationship with the recently departed defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. When Chizik was the defensive coordinator at UCF back in the late 90s, he studied Kiffin's schemes throughly with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As a result of his studies, Chizik runs many of the similar schemes with his defense as Kiffin did. Obviously there's probably some apprehension as to whether keeping these schemes is a good idea given how poorly they performed against schools like Arizona, Oregon and UCLA, but Chizik has had a more distinguished defensive record.
More USC coaching candidate search news.
Ed Orgeron, Joe Barry, Gene Chizik, Clancy Pendergast, Randy Shannon and Dewayne Walker are current names for USC defensive coordinator— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) November 30, 2012
Oregeron is the defensive line coach and (more importantly) the recruiting coordinator in charge of USC's number one recruiting class. Promoting him may be just what USC needs to ensure that he stays with the program for the long haul. The biggest issue is that Orgeron doesn't have defensive coordinating experience.
Barry is the currently linebackers coach for the San Diego Chargers, but he was on Kiffin's staff the previous two seasons as the linebacker coach. Barry does have two years of defensive coordinating experinece with the Lions in 2007-08.
Pendergast has been Cal's defensive coordinator the past three seasons. The Bears had solid defenses in 2010 and 2011 before falling back a few steps in 2012. He was the defensive coordinator with the Chiefs in 2009 and the Cardinals from 2004 to 2008. His NFL defenses struggled, but Arizona did get to the Super Bowl in his final season (he was fired after the Super Bowl though).
Shannon was the defensive coordinator for the University of Miami from 2001-2005, and was in charge of one of the greatest defenses in college football history. Although he struggled as a head coach, Shannon's defenses were some of the best in the country, finishing in the top seven in total defense five of six years as the U's defensive coordinator. He would be a pretty good fit as someone who knows how to handle overwhelming talent.
Walker is most familiar to USC fans for one thing: "13-9". Walker has been pretty terrible at New Mexico State the past four seasons as their head coach, but he has coached at USC before as their defensive backs coach.
Everyone was screaming for Monte's head. His defense just isn't suited for the college game and it was clear USC's defense just wasn't coached up. It has been rumored that Joe Barry left for the NFL because of Monte's pigheadedness. The other rumor is that Ed O. was growing tired of Monte not listening to his assistants.
At this point I don't care. I just want the team to get better. It is frustrating to see Junior turn his team around across town after one year and look over on our sidelines and see Kiffin regress or not progress after three years...especially when we it is clear USC has much better talent.