Pat Hill Becomes Top Candidate for USC


Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Lane Kiffin is looking for a new offensive coordinator at USC to replace Kennedy Polamalu, who was released earlier this month when Kiffin decided that he wanted to go in a ‘different direction’.

While many have indicated that Jeff Tedford could be the front runner OC candidate, according to, Pat Hill has emerged as a top candidate to run the Trojans’ offensive line, a move that could possibly see him doubling as the offensive coordinator, though that remains to be seen.

Should Kiffin, who worked under Hill as graduate assistant at Fresno State, get his former boss to work under him, it would be near perfect fit, given Hill’s coaching style.

Kiffin has a reputation of being aloof, while Hill brings a rough around the edges fire that the Trojans currently only have in Ed Orgeron. Considering how USC’s defensive line plays with the attitude of Orgeron, while the offensive line struggled at times in 2012, you would have imagine that Hill would be a welcome addition to the Trojans.

It wasn’t long ago that USC was tied for first in the nation in the fewest sacks allowed, giving up just eight in 2011. But without Matt Kalil, a rotation of two freshmen at left tackle and a recurring injury to center Khaled Holmes, the Trojans played without cohesion and struggled when without their pillars in 2012.

Pat Hill will undoubtedly bring the fire and energy that the USC offensive line needs, and with the Trojans having to replace Holmes at center it just might be the perfect time for a strong and vocal leader to take charge up front.

Hill began his coaching career in 1974 at LA Valley College, and is a Southern California native. He was the head coach at Fresno State from 1997 to 2011, where he gave the program notoriety as the Bulldogs lived by the mantra of playing anyone, anywhere, anytime. During Hill’s stay at Fresno State, the Bulldogs were 10-8 against BCS teams and nearly toppled No. 1 USC in 2005, in what may have been the most exciting game of the Pete Carroll era. Hill is currently coaching the offensive line with the Atlanta Falcons, who finished seventh in the NFL in sacks allowed under tutelage.