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Peter Sirmon will leave USC to become defensive coordinator at Mississippi State

Peter Sirmon will leave USC to become defensive coordinator at Mississippi State
Peter Sirmon helps oversee a practice on Dec. 23 as USC prepared for the Holiday Bowl. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Less than a month before signing day, USC has lost its recruiting coordinator.

Peter Sirmon is leaving USC to become the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State.

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He interviewed with Mississippi State Coach Dan Mullen on Monday at the AFCA Coaches Convention in San Antonio.

Sirmon served as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator for the Trojans the last two seasons after he followed Steve Sarkisian from Washington.

The news of Sirmon's departure came one day after USC Coach Clay Helton announced he had hired Clancy Pendergast to be the Trojans' defensive coordinator.

Sirmon had been named interim defensive coordinator for the Holiday Bowl after Helton fired Justin Wilcox, and three other assistants, following a loss to Stanford in the Pac-12 Conference championship game.

USC fell to Wisconsin, 23-21, in the bowl game.

Prior to his stint at USC, Sirmon spent two seasons as linebackers coach at Washington.

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Oregon, his alma mater, before he joined the defensive staff of former Ducks teammate Wilcox at Tennessee for two seasons.

Johnny Nansen is the only coach hired by Sarkisian who remains on staff at USC.

Helton must fill the position of three assistants on his staff.

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