Did anybody get a sense of déjà vu? A week and a half after the USC Football coaching staff was announced as complete, the Trojans announced, yet again, that it was complete— for real this time, one would hope.
Although there were whisperings of Chris Wilson set to become the latest Trojan defensive line coach, people were not ready to believe it after what had just happened with Bo Davis. It was quickly followed by rumors that Wilson was wavering on taking the job at USC and would remain in Georgia. Luckily, it seems those rumors were unfounded.
On Friday afternoon, USC released a statement saying they had hired Wilson and finally filled out the entire coaching staff. Wilson left the defensive line coach position from Georgia for the same position at USC.
The nearly 2,300 miles between Athens, Georgia and Los Angeles makes it a bigger distance than Davis had to travel. Maybe that’s why the rumors started popping up. That, and how USC would be his 12th coaching stop in barely over 20 years of coaching.
The 45-year old Wilson edges out the incumbent “oldest coach” on staff in Tim Drevno by a couple months, but Drenvo has the edge on coaching experience. Wilson’s coaching career began at Indiana State after finishing his playing career at Oklahoma. He then had stints at Northern Illinois, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College, Illinois State, Army, Colorado, Oklahoma, Mississippi State, and Georgia. He has seen a lot of the Midwest and South.
At Mississippi State and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Wilson got something that most on Sarkisian’s staff do not: coordinator experience. He was defensive coordinator for both these schools, with the latest being at MSU from 2010 to 2012. He was co-defensive coordinator his first year and defensive coordinator the last two years. The team finished 9-4, 7-6, and 8-5, allowing an average of 19.8, 19.7, and 23.3 per game, respectively. Not bad for a team that has an all-time losing record that plays in the SEC West division (the one that has Alabama, LSU, Auburn, and Texas A&M).
While Wilson does have that on his resume, Justin Wilcox will be the defensive coordinator at USC. Wilson would not be making the calls on defense, but his input and experience would be a huge boon to the defensive gameplan. It may bring a smile to Trojan fans’ faces to know that Wilson’s Mississippi State defense in 2011 allowed an average of 3.5 points per game in the third quarter— good for #14 in the nation. Maybe he’ll help bring some of those halftime adjustments to USC.
All that is not for another few months though.
What Wilson really has to worry about right now, though, is picking up where Davis left off in recruiting. National Signing Day is on February 5th and approaching quickly. He may have to start making some calls as soon as he rolls onto campus to make up for some lost time.
The offseason may not be interesting to fans, but at this point, it is probably reaching frantic levels for the coaches— or at least the Trojan coaches.
Chris Wilson should not be mistaken with Chris Willson. Willson is a walk-on quarterback who was converted to tight end after his transfer from Wake Forest.
Wilson has coached on two different teams with the Bulldog nickname consecutively: the Georgia Bulldogs and Mississippi State Bulldogs.