‘Big Name’ USC Defensive Coordinator Candidate: Tosh Lupoi


On Monday, Scott Wolf reported that Lane Kiffin would looking for a defensive coordinator without ties to USC to succeed his father, Monte. That, coupled with Leon McQuay III being told that the Trojans would hire a ‘big name’ coach has given a new wrinkle to Kiffin’s coaching search. We’ve highlighted five ‘big names’ that Kiffin could conceivably target, starting with the most probable.

We started with Gene Chizik and Clancy Pendergast. Here’s the third of five candidates…

Tosh Lupoi

Preferred defensive scheme: 3-4 or 4-3Current position: Washington defensive line coachResume highlights: Defensive line coach at Cal (2008-2011), and Washington (2012-Present)

It’s hard to gauge Lupoi’s on-field prowess as a potential coordinator, if only for how world-renowned he is as a recruiter. He single-handedly built, halted, brokedown and pillaged Cal’s 2012 recruiting class.

Before that, he was Rivals Recruiter of the Year in 2010, just two years into his coaching career, building a silent rivalry with his USC counterpart, Ed Orgeron.

Add Lupoi to a USC staff including Lane Kiffin, Tee Martin and the aforementioned Orgeron, and the Trojans would not only have the three biggest names in recruiting, but a four-headed monster that could absolutely lockdown the national recruiting scene.

With Lupoi and Kiffin focusing on the west and Orgeron and Martin targeting SEC country, the Trojans could effectively go all-in on the idea of out-talenting opponents. The only drawback of the scenario is that is effectively the plan that has won a ton of games for USC the last decade and it wouldn’t necessarily close the gap in terms of stopping Oregon’s spread.

Lupoi has worked hands on with several solid defensive lineman and would fit in with Orgeron. But would hiring Lupoi as a means of giving him a promotion undermine the stature of Ed Orgeron?

Considering that Orgeron has head coaching experience and tenure, it would seem more logical for Orgeron to be the defensive coordinator and Lupoi as the defensive line coach. But the reality is that that isn’t necessarily practical as Lupoi’s reasons for departing Washington would be both a considerable raise and an improved title. That only happens with Monte Kiffin’s salary and a title of defensive coordinator.

Is creating the ultimate recruiting coaching staff and hiring the biggest name in recruiting worth taking a flier on a coach without proven success against the spread? We’ll have to find out, although one thing is certain: it wouldn’t hurt with the recruitment of Eddie Vanderdoes, who is considering Lupoi’s Huskies.