Kiffin brings longtime assistant to Trojan staff

Lane Kiffin’s continued to fill his coaching staff Wednesday as he hired James Cregg to be the new offensive line coach for the Trojans.

Cregg, who held the same position under Kiffin in Tennessee, joins a large contingent of crossover coaches from the Knoxville team to USC’s staff.

After Kiffin was hired to be the new coach of the Trojans, he announced he would be bringing along assistants Ed Orgeron and Monte Kiffin. Wednesday’s announcement only continued Kiffin’s trend of hiring people he trusts.

Cregg’s involvement with Kiffin goes even farther back than his one year at Tennessee. Cregg was an assistant coach to Kiffin for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. He worked with Kiffin for the extent of the coach’s year and a half tenure with the team.

After Kiffin was let go by the Raiders, Cregg stayed on staff for interim coach Tom Cable.

Cragg worked with Cable for eight games, during which time the Raiders had limited success.

With two games remaining in the Raiders season, Cregg bolted to join Kiffin at Tennessee just two weeks after it was announced that Kiffin would be the coach for the Volunteers.

Kiffin and Cregg also had a working relationship prior to their time at premier football coaching jobs,

In 1999, Kiffin worked for one season at Colorado State as the offensive line coach for the Rams, while Cregg was on staff as a graduate assistant that year.

Cregg is a native of northern California and played high school football at Norco High School in Norco, Calif. Cregg was elected into the Norco High School Hall of Fame in 2001.

After high school, Cregg played for Colorado State as an offensive lineman, starting during both his junior and senior year.

During his junior year, Cregg helped lead the Rams to the Western Athletic Conference title and participated in the Holiday Bowl in his final two years.

In his senior year, Cregg was included in the WAC’s all-conference team as an offensive lineman.

After his playing time, Cregg stayed on staff at Colorado State for three years as a graduate assistant. During his time at his alma mater, the Rams won two conference championships and captured another Holiday Bowl victory in 1997.

He then moved on to coach the defensive line for Colgate University from 2000-2003, where he helped the Raiders make it all the way to the NCAA I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision) championship game.

Cregg then held the same position at Idaho from 2004-2006 before joining Kiffin with the Raiders.