USC defensive backs coach Marvin Sanders has been fired after one season with the team, USC coach Lane Kiffin announced on Thursday.
“We wish Marvin Sanders and his family the best of luck,” Kiffin said in a statement. “Marvin did a great job for us coaching our secondary and in recruiting. But with the hiring of Clancy Pendergast as our defensive coordinator, we decided to go in a different direction based on Clancy’s desire to oversee the defensive backs unit.”
The 45-year-old Sanders led a defensive unit that finished the season ranked 41st in pass efficiency and ninth nationally in interceptions, with 19.
Kiffin didn’t have to go far to find a replacement, as the secondary will be overseen by Pendergast, who also looked over that unit for the Dallas Cowboys from 2000-02.
USC’s defensive staff has been in flux following the departure of former defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, who is now serving in the same position for the Dallas Cowboys. Last season, his defense allowed 24.3 points a game, which was good enough for 40th in the country. Linebackers coach Scottie Hazelton is set to become the new defensive coordinator at the University of Nevada, CBS Sports reports.
The loss of Sanders raises questions about the destination of some of USC’s 2013 recruits, including five-star cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey is currently committed to the Trojans but is still being courted by the University of Florida and Florida State University. National signing day for high school players is Feb. 6.
The Trojans’ secondary will have a much younger look to it next year, as it loses seniors T.J. McDonald and Jawanza Starling to graduation. Junior cornerback Nickell Robey also declared for the NFL draft. Remaining at the cornerback position are sophomore Josh Shaw, junior Torin Harris and freshman Kevon Seymour. Junior safety Demetrius Wright will also return.