Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC Coaching Staff: Grading the Johnny Nansen Hire


Jonny Nansen joins Steve Sarkisian’s coaching staff at USC as a jack of all trades, which isn’t surprising considering his role at Washington over the course of the last five seasons.

After joining the Washington coaching staff in 2009, Nansen was one of Sarkisian’s early hires once he arrived at USC.

As a member of the Huskies’ coaching staff, Nansen coached special teams throughout his five seasons in the Pacific Northwest and was the recruiting coordinator his first four years on the staff.

Nansen doubled as the defensive line coach from 2009 to 2011, before ultimately also coaching the running backs in 2013.  Nansen was then given the assistant head coach title for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Under Nansen in 2013, Huskies running back Bishop Sankey rushed for 1,870 yards and 20 touchdowns.  The Huskies rushing attack ranked in the top-20 in the nation.

For the Trojans, Nansen will coach the running backs and special teams, and serve as the assistant head coach.

Nansen’s arrival meant the services of John Baxter and Tommie Robinson were no longer needed.

Trojans’ special teams play saw early improvement when Baxter arrived in 2010.

However, over the course of the last two seasons, special teams play was largely inconsistent.  Where Baxter may be missed most is in his role on the academic side.

Losing Robinson has been a point of contention when considering the play of the running backs, particularly Javorius Allen.

The Trojans didn’t have a 1,000-yard rusher, but had four running backs eclipse 300 yards as they played roulette out of the backfield due to injuries.

Best case scenario would have been allowing Robinson to continue coaching the running backs, and Nansen assuming the other responsibilities he’s been given.

Final Grade: C

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Tags: Football Johnny Nansen USC Trojans