Clancy Pendergast, Tee Martin receive contract extensions from USC Football

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast and Tee Martin officially received contract extensions to stay with USC Football, though terms were not disclosed.

Fresh off of the first Pac-12 title in nearly a decade, USC Football continued to take care of the staff that got them there, extending the contracts of Clancy Pendergast and Tee Martin.

USC did not disclose the terms of the two deals, either in length or salary, but the Trojans recently extended head coach Clay Helton through the 2023 season. Presumably, the offensive and defensive coordinators have been locked in through at least as long.

Martin’s extension was reported in January as he decided to stick with USC despite rumors that he was entertaining offers from both the NFL and college ranks, but this was the first hint of an extension for Pendergast as well.

“To have two of the best coordinators in the industry back for their third consecutive seasons is a critical piece for our team’s growth and our opportunity for success next season,” Helton said via press release. “Consistency and stability are so important in improving your program every year. Clancy and Tee are a huge reason why, in our first two seasons, we have won a Rose Bowl and Pac-12 Championship. Having both back will help us to our goal of having national championship-caliber seasons.”

Pendergast was a hit during his first stint at USC in 2013 as part of Lane Kiffin’s staff, but he was not retained by new head coach Steve Sarkisian. When Helton took over in 2015, one of his first moves was to bring Pendergast back as defensive coordinator.

In two seasons, Pendergast’s defense has ranked 55th and 20th in S&P+, an advanced statistical measure. However, it could easily be argued that the Trojans have outperformed those ranks on the defensive side of the ball, passing the eye test more easily.

True to the aggressive nature of Pendergast’s coaching philosophy, USC led the nation in sacks in 2017.

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Martin is entering his third season as USC’s offensive coordinator after being promoted from wide receivers coach after the 2015 season. His offenses have 16th and 12th in S&P+ while averaging 484.1 yards per game, the highest for the Trojans since 2005.

However, concerns about Martin’s play-calling and inexperience as an offensive coordinator continue to linger.

With the three main figures of the coaching staff taken care of, the next step for USC will likely be to sort out contract details for other assistant coaches. Outside linebackers coach Johnny Nansen was just named the Pac-12 Recruiter of the Year while defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze has reportedly interviewed for a position with the San Francisco 49ers.

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Helton must also fill one remaining opening on the staff after the departure of running backs coach Deland McCullough, who took a job with the Kansas City Chiefs.