Texas running backs coach Tommie Robinson is reportedly set to return to USC as the Trojan running backs coach and run game coordinator.
UPDATE: USC has officially announced Tommie Robinson as the Trojans running backs coach and run game coordinator.
“We are thrilled to welcome back Tommie to the Trojan Family,” head coach Clay Helton said. “He is one of the most respected running back coaches in our profession. He has had an extensive career in both the NFL and college and he will pass on that knowledge to our young running back group. I have had the good fortune to work with Tommie on two different occasions, at USC and at Memphis, and have seen firsthand how he develops young men both on and off the field. He is a true professional and a terrific recruiter.”
As expected, Tyson Helton will move from running backs to quarterbacks while Johnny Nansen will coach linebackers in 2016, leaving defensive line as the only spot to fill.
USC also confirmed that Nansen will serve as recruiting coordinator while special teams coordinator John Baxter will handle tight ends.
Robinson had coached at Texas for two years after helping Buck Allen achieve team MVP status for USC in 2013. He was not retained by Steve Sarkisian, who brought Johnny Nansen with him from Washington, when he was hired on for the 2014 season.
With Robinson’s addition, Nansen, who has been kept on by Clay Helton, will likely move to coach on the defensive side of the ball under newly-returned defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. Nansen has experience coaching defensive line and linebacker, both position which remain unfilled for the Trojans.
At Texas, year one under Robinson left something to be desired as the Longhorns averaged just 3.77 yards per carry. However, this past season saw Texas’ running backs average 5.67 yards per rush, even with the exclusion of rushing contributions from the mobile Texas quarterbacks.
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Prior to stints at USC and Texas, Robinson was the running backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals. He also spend three years coaching rushers at Miami. His college coaching experience goes back to 1992. In that span he has coached at Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, TCU and Utah State. He also served as an assistant for the Dallas Cowboys.
Robinson’s expected hiring means the 2016 USC staff will include at least five former Lane Kiffin assistants — Helton, offensive coordinator Tee Martin, Pendergast, special teams coordinator John Baxter and Robinson.
There remains one open spot for an assistant coach to finish the Trojan staff.