Last offseason, Lane Kiffin made an underated hire, in the appointing of Clancy Pendergast as the USC Trojans’ defensive coordinator. After one season at Troy in which USC currently holds the spot as the conference’s No. 1 defense, Pendergast appears to be out of a job, according to ESPN’s Adam Shefter.
Former Cardinals and current USC DC Clancy Pendergast not expected to return to school; with 2 years left on contract, already on NFL radar.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 26, 2013
It’s not necessarily a surprise, as the Trojans and new head coach Steve Sarkisian have been targeting Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox for the last three weeks.
Wilcox will coach the Huskies’ defense for Saturday’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against BYU, and then could presumably be headed to USC not long afterwards. Sarkisian’s set New Years Day as a rough deadline to finalize his coaching hires.
For Pendergast, he’ll likely find himself a job in the NFL, as Shefter points out. He transformed the Trojans’ defense from a wasteland in 2012 under Monte Kiffin, into a stout defense despite using extremely low numbers due to few substitutions, and a 62-point shellacking at the hands of Arizona State back in September that could have derailed the defense.
USC’s defense gave up 334.9 yards per game in 2013, good for tops in the Pac-12 and 13th nationally. Only Stanford was better at stopping the run, though the Trojans held Heisman Trophy finalist and 2,000-yard rusher Andre Williams to just 37 yards.