Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 1/18/13
USC head coach Lane Kiffin has selected Clancy Pendergast to become the Trojans' defensive coordinator, a person familiar with the situation said Thursday. Pendergast's hiring could be formalized in the next few days after the school completes a background check, said the individual, who requested anonymity because the hiring is not yet official. Pendergast, California's defensive coordinator the last three seasons, would succeed Monte Kiffin as the Trojans' top defensive assistant. Monte Kiffin resigned after the Trojans' disappointing 7-6 season and was recently hired by the Dallas Cowboys. Pendergast, 45, is a former USC graduate assistant who was defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs before joining Jeff Tedford's staff at Cal. Tedford was fired after the Golden Bears finished 3-9 overall and 2-7 in the Pac-12 Conference last season. Lane Kiffin had been searching for a coordinator with experience in the Pac-12, especially one familiar with a 3-4 defensive scheme that could better neutralize Oregon's spread-option and other varied offenses. "Excited to see what coach Pendergast has planned with our talent!" USC end Devon Kennard posted on his Twitter feed. Kennard said later in a phone interview that players had not officially been informed of Pendergast's hiring but had seen and heard reports. "I heard he's a great coach," he said. USCfootball.com reported Wednesday that Kiffin was close to hiring Pendergast. But after Chip Kelly left Oregon to become coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Kiffin was expected to make another run at Ducks defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti. The Oregonian, citing a source close to Aliotti, reported Thursday that Aliotti turned down a chance to join the Trojans. Pendergast was the Cardinals' defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2008; the team reached the Super Bowl in his final season. He joined the Chiefs staff in 2009. At Cal, Pendergast oversaw aggressive defenses that performed well his first two seasons before faltering in 2012. In 2010, the Golden Bears ranked first in the conference and 18th nationally among 120 major-college teams in total defense. They were 13th in sacks. Pendergast received national attention after Cal held Oregon 39 points below its season average in a 15-13 Cal defeat. In 2011, Cal once again led the Pac-12, and ranked 25th nationally, in total defense. But last season, the Golden Bears were 93rd in total defense and 96th in scoring defense. Pendergast takes over a unit that ranked 60th in total defense and tied for 40th in scoring defense but gave up a record 730 yards in a 62-51 loss to Oregon. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, the titled defensive coordinator the last three seasons, was promoted to assistant head coach after Monte Kiffin resigned. It remains to be seen whether Pendergast will retain linebackers coach Scottie Hazelton and secondary coach Marvin Sanders. The Trojans return all but one of their starting defensive linemen but will add Kennard, who was a redshirt last season while recovering from surgery. All of the starting linebackers return, though Dion Bailey is hoping to move to safety, the position he projects to as a pro. With cornerback Nickell Robey's early departure to the NFL, the Trojans return no frontline starters from the secondary. Pendergast also coached in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers and in college at Mississippi State and Oklahoma. -Gary Klein
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Twitter, Facebook report engagement decline during Super Bowl

Steve Spurrier becomes special assistant to South Carolina AD

Brent Musberger wants you to bet on Joe Lunardi’s bracketology

Unranked Duke uses big first half to beat No.13 Louisville

MLB reportedly close to rule preventing collisions at second base

USOC says athletes concern about Zika shouldn't attend Games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Von Miller shares support for embattled Johnny Manziel

The Panthers had to use a silent snap count at the Super Bowl

Report: Lakers would fire Byron Scott to hire Luke Walton

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Daniel Bryan says goodbye to WWE during teary retirement speech

Paul George delivers great line about driving by Kobe Bryant

WATCH: Oklahoma beats Texas on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer

Andre Drummond hits 70-foot buzzer beater to end 3rd quarter

Duke's Allen appears to intentionally trip Louisville's Spaulding

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker