Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

USC to Hire Washington Assistants Johnny Nansen and Keith Heyward

After locking up Tee Martin, Steve Sarkisian’s continued to add to his coaching staff with the hiring of Johnny Nansen and Keith Heyward, both of whom were Washington assistants under Sark.

Nansen, a Washington State alum, was an original hire of Sarkisian before the 2009 season, and was a jack of all trades at UW. He was originally hired to coach the Huskies’ defensive line and special teams, then was promoted to being a recruiting coordinator and running backs coach in 2012.

Under Nansen, Washington running back Bishop Sankey has amassed 3,214 yards in the last two years since the departure of Chris Polk.

USC offensive lineman Nico Falah, who was heavily recruited by Washington and Nansen specifically, is already a fan of the hire.


As for Heyward, the former Oregon State Beaver got his coaching experience underway in 2007 at Cal Poly, and coached under Mike Riley at his alma mater from 2008 to 2011. He was hired at Washington in 2012 to coach the Huskies’ defensive backs.

In the last two years, the Huskies have had one of the best pass defenses in the country under Heyward and defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. In 2012, UW was 2nd in the Pac-12 in pass defense and only Oregon was credited with more passes defended in the 2013 regular season.

With Martin, Nansen and Heyward on board, the USC staff is starting take shape under Sarkisian. What faces will stay at USC remains in question, though it still isn’t totally out of the realm of possibilities that USC keeps running backs coach Tommie Robinson.

Robinson was a big part of the rise of Buck Allen and Tre Madden and Nansen has the ability to coach multiple positions, making his hire not necessarily a roadblock for Robinson.

Next Trojans Game Full schedule »

Tags: Football Johnny Nansen Keith Heyward USC Trojans

comments powered by Disqus