USC Coach Steve Sarkisian adds to staff

USC Coach Steve Sarkisian added three more coaches to his staff Monday.
(Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

USC’s football coaching staff continued to take on a distinct Washington flavor Monday when Steve Sarkisian announced that he had hired former Huskies assistants Justin Wilcox and Marques Tuiasosopo and San Francisco 49ers assistant Tim Drevno.

Wilcox replaces Clancy Pendergast as defensive coordinator, Tuiasosopo will coach tight ends and Drevno offensive line.

“These new additions to our staff bring not only tremendous coaching expertise, but they are outstanding recruiters and good, solid people,” Sarkisian said in a statement. “They are great additions to the USC football program and the Trojan Family.”


Shortly after he was hired Dec. 2, Sarkisian hired Washington assistants Johnny Nansen, Keith Heyward and Peter Sirmon.

Nansen will coach running backs and special teams, Heyward defensive backs and Sirmon will coach linebackers and serve as recruiting coordinator.

Clay Helton will remain as the Trojans’ offensive coordinator and Tee Martin the wide receivers coach.

The hirings leave Sarkisian with one opening on the staff: defensive line coach.

Sarkisian has said that he would reach out to Ed Orgeron, the Trojans’ former defensive line coach who served as interim coach after Lane Kiffin was fired in September. Orgeron abruptly left the program after Athletic Director Pat Haden hired Sarkisian.

Several draft-eligible defensive players openly campaigned for Sarkisian to retain Pendergast, who molded the Trojans into the Pac-12 Conference’s top-ranked statistical unit. USC, which did not play Oregon or Washington this season, ranks 13th nationally in total defense.

But Sarkisian chose Wilcox, 37, who has worked as defensive coordinator at Boise State, Tennessee and Washington.

Washington ranks 54th nationally and fifth in the Pac-12 in total defense.

Tuiasosopo, 34, played quarterback at Washington and was UCLA’s tight ends coach in 2012 before joining Washington’s staff as quarterbacks coach this season. He served as interim coach for the Huskies’ Fight Hunger Bowl victory over Brigham Young on Friday.

Drevno, 44, was the 49ers’ offensive line coach the last three seasons. He previously coached at Stanford, San Diego, Idaho, San Jose State, Nevada Las Vegas and Montana State.

Ivan Lewis, Washington’s strength and conditioning coach for the last five seasons, also was hired by Sarkisian.

Twitter: @latimesklein