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Lincoln Riley's 2022 USC football coaching staff is elite and here's why

Evan Desai
Dec 4, 2021; Berkeley, California, USA; USC football, Donte Williams
Dec 4, 2021; Berkeley, California, USA; USC football, Donte Williams / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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Lincoln Riley has officially announced his official 2022 coaching staff for the USC football program.

This announcement already has the Trojan football program trending back to national dominance, as very few staffs across the country can top this.

Only one of these full-time coaches was with the program last year, and that is 2021 interim Head Coach Donte Williams. The rest are guys who Riley is either bringing with him, or found as the best possible candidates from outside sources.

Lincoln Riley's 2022 official USC football coaching staff:

Lincoln Riley has hired ten USC football coaches for this staff, and here's a breakdown, starting with his assistant:

Dennis Simmons: USC Football Assistant Head Coach/Outside WRs Coach/Offensive Passing Game Coordinator

Dennis Simmons' last coaching job was at Oklahoma under Riley, and he had all of the same titles as he now has with USC football. He was there since 2015, serving as the outside WRs coach since then. As an associate head coach in 2019 and 2020, he turned into their assistant and passing game coordinator this past year.

Simmons coached three first-team All-Americans at receiver in his time at OU (Dede Westbrook, Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb). A coach with west coast ties, Simmons played and coached at BYU and was the outside wide receivers coach at Washington State from 2012 to 2014.

Alex Grinch: USC Football Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Coach

Alex Grinch is to be USC football's DC and Safeties Coach, and he has a nice resume. As the OU Defensive Coordinator from 2019-2021, he had five defensive players drafted. Before OU he was the co-Defensive Coordinator for Urban Meyer at Ohio State in 2018, and he won a Rose Bowl there.

He's been a DC in the Pac-12 before, leading Washington State's defense for three years between 2015 and 2017. He's been a Broyles Award semi-finalist twice (award given to top assistant coach in country).

Josh Henson: USC Football Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach

Josh Henson is arguably the best hire that Lincoln Riley has made for USC football. Tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at LSU from 2005-2008, Henson won a Natty after he churned out back-to-back top 10 recruiting classes in the Bayou in 2006 and 2007.

He was the co-offensive line coach from 2009-2012 for Mizzou, and the OC and O-Line coach from 2013-2015. Four lineman from his time there got drafted, and he then left to coach for a few years at his alma mater in Oklahoma State where he was an offensive analyst in 2016 and O-Line coach from 2017 to 2018. Since, he's been the Offensive Line coach at Texas A&M where he coached a two-time All-American in Kenyon Green and coached up the best offensive line in the SEC this past year.

Donte Williams: USC Football Defensive Backs Coach/Defensive Passing Game Coordinator

Retaining Donte Williams must have been an easy decision for Riley, as he is the best recruiter in the Pac-12. That's how 247Sports ranked him in 2020 (the last time he wasn't a Head Coach), and ranked him as the No. 3 recruiter in the nation. He also did a good job coaching the corners in 2020 for USC, and since 2013 has been a cornerbacks coach or owned even higher positions for CFB coaching staffs.

In that time he was at San Jose State (2013-2015), Arizona (2016), Nebraska (2017), and Oregon (2018-2019). Since he's been at USC (starting in 2020), he's held positions as high as of course the Interim Head Coach for the Trojans. That head coaching experience is going to be valuable for him going forward.

Roy Manning: USC Football Outside Linebackers Coach/Nickels Coach/Assistant Head Coach for Defense

Roy Manning is an excellent hire for USC football, as he has a very nice resume. He was the Outside Linebackers coach for Michigan in 2013 and 2014, and took the same position from 2015 to 2017 at Washington State under Grinch.

He was the Outside Linebackers Coach and Special Teams Coordinator for UCLA in 2018, and I'm sure he dreamt of going back to a real football program. After all, there is one in LA, and he is now here after spending three years in Oklahoma as the corners coach under Grinch. That chemistry he's had with Grinch for quite some time is going to be important.

Dave Nichol: USC Football Inside Wide Receivers Coach/Associate Head Coach for Offense

Dave Nichol has a lot of experience coaching for Mike Leach, who has an offense that features elements of USC Head Coach Riley's and vice versa. It's why Nichol is a perfect fit for this team. Nichol was the inside receivers coach from 2020 to 2021 under Leach, and was the inside receivers coach for Leach at Washington State from 2017 to 2019 and the wide receivers coach for him in 2016.

Nichol has been an inside receivers coach in the Pac-12 before, with Arizona in 2009. He's also been an OC with East Carolina in 2015.

Brian Odom: USC Football Inside Linebackers Coach/Associate Head Coach for Defense

Brian Odom will be the inside linebackers coach for USC football, and he was that for Oklahoma in the past three years. In that time, he ended up developing Kenneth Murray into a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2019 and go on to be an NFL first round draft pick in 2020.

Shaun Nua: USC Football Defensive Line Coach

Shaun Nua heads to USC football after taking a break from the West Coast coaching scene. He was most recently the defensive line coach for Michigan since 2019 after owning the same position in 2018 with Arizona State. He was also the D-Line coach for Navy from 2012-2017.

Coaching Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo at Michigan, who are projected to go in the draft this year as top 15 picks, Nua is an outstanding hire.

Kiel McDonald: USC Football running backs coach

Kiel McDonald heads to the USC football program after coaching the Utah running backs for the last five years. Coaching dominant backs in Zack Moss, Ty Jordan, and Tavion Thomas, McDonald knows exactly how to tear up the conference on the ground.

Zach Hanson: USC Football Tight End's Coach

Zach Hanson reunited with USC football Head Coach Riley, who he was with as a senior offensive analyst in 2019 for one of Oklahoma's playoff teams. Since, he's been the OL Coach at Tulsa, and has Tight End coaching experience at Kansas State.

3 realistic transfer destinations for Jaxson Dart. dark. Next

This coaching staff is special. This is the best staff USC has had in over a decade, especially when factoring in that the head coach is a top four coach in the country. The future of the program is bright, as Riley has now hired ten full-time coaches with STACKED resumes to help him get the job done at SC.

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