USC football greats Chris Claiborne, Hayes Pullard join Trojan staff

USC football added linebacker great Christ Claiborne to the coaching staff. (David Taylor/Allsport)
USC football added linebacker great Christ Claiborne to the coaching staff. (David Taylor/Allsport) /

USC football hired former linebackers Chris Claiborne and Hayes Pullard.

The USC football staff continues to grow with a couple of familiar additions.

On Thursday, the Trojans officially announced the hiring of Chris Claiborne and Hayes Pullard, both former linebackers.

Claiborne will take on a role as an offensive quality control analyst. Pullard will hold the same title but on defense.

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USC acknowledged in a press release that they were technically hired before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic but delayed their official start until June 1.

Chris Claiborne, Hayes Pullard add legacy to USC football staff

In terms of profile and status, both bring some great legacy to the table.

A member of the famed Club 55, Claiborne was USC’s first-ever winner of the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in the country in 1998. He was also a unanimous All-American and the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.  He went on to play for the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams and New York Giants before beginning a career in coaching.

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Most recently, Claiborne had risen to become the head coach for Calabasas High School. In his second season, he won the Marmonte League. However, he left that post to pursue his current position with the Trojans. There was even speculation of him vying for USC’s open linebacker assistant coaching position earlier this year.

He’ll be handling offensive quality control for USC, which could make for an interesting dynamic since his background is on defense. Having the opposing viewpoint around could be an advantage.

As for Pullard, this is his first coaching gig.

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He spent four years in the NFL with the Browns, Jaguars and Chargers after a strong USC career. He was a four-year starter and three times led the Trojans in tackles. He was also a two-time captain.

Claiborne and Pullard join several other former Trojan players on USC’s support staff, including graduate assistants Viane Talamaivao and Michael Hutchings and analysts Lenny Vandermade and Dane Stevens. Assistant strength and conditioning coach Christian Tupou is another familiar name.

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