USC promotes Joe DeForest to finalize assistant coaching staff


Clay Helton finalized his staff of full-time assistants for the 2019 season Friday with the announcement of Joe DeForest, a defensive analyst for USC last season, as the Trojans’ new outside linebackers coach.

DeForest, a college coaching veteran of 29 years, came to USC in 2016 after two years as Kansas’ special teams coordinator. Much of DeForest’s career has been spent coaching special teams, including 11 years at Oklahoma State from 2000 to 2011.

Helton and DeForest coached together at Duke in 1995-96.

Helton also announced firm plans for the rest of his staff: Linebackers coach Johnny Nansen will now focus on the inside linebackers along with his role as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. Tight ends/inside receivers coach Keary Colbert will coach the wide receivers in place of the departed Tee Martin. Running backs coach Tim Drevno, who moved over to coach the offensive line when Helton fired Neil Callaway midseason, will coach the offensive line under new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury. Special teams coach John Baxter will now coach tight ends, too.


Helton reaffirmed that Clancy Pendergast will remain as defensive coordinator.

Here’s a rundown of the USC staff:

  • Kliff Kingsbury, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
  • Tim Drevno, offensive line
  • Mike Jinks, running backs
  • Keary Colbert, wide receivers
  • John Baxter, special teams/tight ends
  • Clancy Pendergast, defensive coordinator
  • Chad Kauha’aha’a, defensive line
  • Johnny Nansen, associate head coach/inside linebackers/recruiting coordinator
  • Joe DeForest, outside linebackers
  • Greg Burns, defensive backs

Twitter: @BradyMcCollough