UCLA hires Johnny Nansen, a longtime USC assistant, as defensive line coach

UCLA announced the hiring of Johnny Nansen on Monday. Nansen spent the last six seasons at USC in a variety of roles.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Johnny Nansen, a victim of USC’s recent purge of defensive assistant coaches under Clay Helton, has found a landing spot across town with the Trojans’ archrival.

UCLA announced Monday that it had hired Nansen as defensive line coach, replacing the departed Vince Oghobaase after Oghobaase recently left to accept the same post at Boston College.

Nansen, who has a reputation as a strong recruiter, spent the last six seasons at USC in a variety of roles. Last season, he coached inside linebackers and was the defensive run game coordinator. From 2016 to 2018, he was assistant head coach while also working with linebackers and coordinating the team’s recruiting. In his first two seasons with the Trojans, Nansen was assistant head coach, running backs coach and special-teams coordinator.

Nansen was selected the 2017 Pac-12 recruiter of the year by 247Sports. He had made previous coaching stops at Washington, Idaho, Idaho State, Montana State and Louisville. A former standout at Long Beach Jordan High, Nansen played linebacker at Washington State before commencing his coaching career.