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USC Head Coach Clay Helton Fires DC Justin Wilcox, Other Staff Members

Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

USC head coach Clay Helton has fired defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox along with the majority of the coaching staff, according to multiple sources. Peter Sirmons (linebackers), Marques Tuiasosopo (quarterbacks/tight ends), and Tee Martin (wide receivers) are reportedly the only coaches being retained.

In addition to Wilcox, included in the firings are defensive backs coach Keith Heyward and defensive line coach Chris Wilson, among many others.

Reports of massive staff changes came almost immediately following the announcement that USC was naming Helton as the full-time head coach, who served as the interim after the program parted ways with former head coach Steve Sarkisian earlier this season.

It is uncertain whether offensive coaches such as offensive line coach Bob Connelly and running backs coach/special teams coordinator Johnny Nansen will be retained.

Wilcox joined USC’s staff in 2014, following Sarkisian from Washington. Last season, USC’s defense was in the nation’s Top 20 in turnover margin, red zone defense and third down conversion defense. However, in 2015, the Trojans ranked 70th nationally in total defense (401.3 yards allowed per game) and 57th in scoring (25.9 per game), allowing 41 points or more in four of their five losses.

On Saturday, USC (8-5, 6-3 Pac-12) lost to Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game, 41-22. The Trojans will play Wisconsin (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) in the Holiday Bowl on December 30.

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