An offseason with no shortage of tough news for the USC football team continued on Friday as USCFootball.com reported that offensive coordinator and running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu will not be returning for the Trojans’ 2013 campaign.
“As we continue to evaluate all facets of our program, including the organization of our staff, we made the decision to go in a different direction at this coaching position,” USC head coach Lane Kiffin said in a statement Sunday. “Kennedy Polamalu is a good coach, a good person and a good Trojan. We wish him and his family the best.”
Polamalu played fullback for USC from 1982 to 1985 and served as the team’s running backs and special teams coach from 2000 to 2003. After leaving in 2004 to coach in the NFL, Polamalu returned when USC named Lane Kiffin its head coach.
Though Kiffin has been the primary offensive play caller for the Trojans during his tenure, Polamalu played a large role in Curtis McNeal’s development as well as the recent recruitment of four-star running back Ty Isaac, who signed with the Trojans last Wednesday. USC’s running back tandem of McNeal and junior Silas Redd combined for 1606 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Polamalu is the fourth coach to leave the Trojans following their disappointing 2012 season and joins former assistant head coach and de-facto defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, secondary coach Marvin Sanders and linebackers coach Scottie Hazelton.
Current USC players took to social media to express their feelings about the decision.
“Not only did we lose the best coach, we lost the only Trojan who was on staff. Really sad day,” redshirt freshman fullback Soma Vainuku tweeted Friday.
It is unclear whether Polamalu’s eventual replacement will assume play-calling duties or if Kiffin will retain them.