USC assistant Peter Sirmon is leaving the Trojans to become Mississippi State’s defensive coordinator, according to the LA Times.
Sirmon was the last remaining member of Justin Wilcox’s defensive staff after Clay Helton fired his defensive coordinator, defensive backs coach Keith Heyward and defensive line coach Chris Wilson.
Helton kept Sirmon on as interim defensive coordinator for the Holiday Bowl and it was expected for him to remain on staff as the Trojans linebackers coach in 2016. The promotion from Mississippi State has scuppered those plans.
In addition to his role as the linebackers coach, Sirmon also served as USC’s recruiting coordinator. That creates yet another hurdle for the Trojans to clear as they work to complete the 2016 recruiting class, which has six spots left to fill.
As for who might replace Sirmon in that role? Running backs coach Johnny Nansen served as recruiting coordinator at Idaho and Washington, though he currently also holds the title of running game coordinator.
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Interestingly enough, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen had pursued former USC assistant Ed Orgeron for the vacant defensive coordinator position but Orgeron opted to remain at LSU instead, opening the door for Sirmon.
USC just announced the official hiring of defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast on Monday. Sirmon’s departure means the new DC will have all three defensive assistant positions open to fill with his own people.
The lone holdover from Steve Sarkisian’s Washington coaching staff at USC is now Nansen. Tight end and quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo is expected to take a position on UCLA’s staff under newly-promoted offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu.