The USC hired Todd Orlando as its new defensive coordinator on Friday, and commissioned him to revitalize a troubled defensive unit that failed in recent years under Clancy Pendergast.
Orlando, 48, served as defensive coordinator in Texas for the past three seasons and was considered the favorite for the USC position after meeting with coach Clay Helton. Orlando was fired by Texas in early December after a year marred by injuries and inconsistency for the 7-5 Longhorns. He briefly joined the Texas Tech coaching staff as an assistant coach and trainer of supporters before accepting the work of the USC.
It remains to be seen whether Orlando can help reverse a regrettable Trojan defense that seemed lost in the USC 49-24 loss to Iowa at the Holiday Bowl, the last game of Pendergast’s four years as defensive coordinator.
Orlando brings a great experience to the job: before his period in Texas, he spent two seasons in Houston, where his defenses were ranked 30 and 20, respectively, at given points. Prior to that, he led one of the nation’s main defenses in the state of Utah in 2013-14. He also served as defensive coordinator at Florida International (2011-12) and Connecticut (2005-10).
While USC is losing two defensive captains to linebacker John Houston and Christian Rector ends, the team is expected to reload in both positions.
The Times will have more information about Orlando joining USC soon.
Editor Ryan Kartje contributed to this report.