USC announces LB and DB coaches

Here's the official USC press release on the hiring of Hazelton and Sanders:


LOS ANGELES¬-Marvin Sanders and Scottie Hazelton, who both have served as defensive coordinators at previous coaching stops, have been named assistant football coaches at USC, Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin announced on Thursday.

Sanders will be USC’s secondary coach, while Hazelton will coach the Trojans linebackers.

“We are delighted to add Marvin and Scottie to the Trojan Family,” said Kiffin. “Both not only have made their marks while coaching their respective positions, but both have been collegiate defensive coordinators and that should help us tremendously.

“Marvin had great success coaching the defensive backs at Nebraska and we believe that will translate well to our secondary, which is the most critical area we need to improve upon in 2012. Scottie is coming to us after helping North Dakota State win the NCAA FCS championship and coordinating a defense that led the nation in scoring defense in 2011, after it was 90th in that category before he took it over just 2 years ago.”

Kiffin expects to announce another assistant coach hiring soon.

Sanders, 44, comes to USC after two months having been named the associate head coach, defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Florida Atlantic.

Before that, he spent three seasons (2008-10) as his alma mater Nebraska’s secondary coach, including the final two years there as assistant head coach for defense. The Cornhuskers led the nation in pass efficiency defense in 2009 and were third in 2010. They had 18 interceptions and allowed just seven touchdown passes in 2009 and they added 19 picks in 2010. Cornerback Prince Amukamara was an All-American first teamer and Thorpe Award finalist in 2010, while safeties Eric Hagg (2010) and Larry Asante (2009) were All-Big 12 first team picks. All 3 players were NFL draft picks, with Amukamara selected in the first round.

It was Sanders’ second stint coaching the Nebraska secondary, as he also coached there in 2003 when the Cornhuskers also led the nation in pass efficiency defense and set a school and league record with 32 interceptions. Safety Josh Bullocks was an All-American after making a school-record 10 interceptions. Bullocks was a second round NFL pick along with his brother, safety Daniel Bullocks, while cornerback Fabian Washington was a first rounder.

The Cornhuskers played in a bowl game each year Sanders was there: the 2003 Alamo Bowl, 2008 Gator Bowl and 2009 and 2010 Holiday Bowls.

Sanders left Nebraska after 2003 and spent three seasons (2004-06) as the secondary coach at North Carolina. He also was the co-defensive coordinator the first year, then was elevated to defensive coordinator the final two years. In 2004, the Tar Heels held Duke to just 234 total yards, the fewest by a UNC defense in three years, and they played in the Continental Tire Bowl. In 2005, North Carolina was No. 42 nationally in total defense (an improvement of 67 spots from the previous year), had its most interceptions since 1999 and limited Virginia to 199 total yards. Safety Gerald Sensabaugh was an NFL draftee.

Sanders began his coaching career as the secondary coach at Nebraska Wesleyan for two seasons (1992-93). He then was the secondary coach at Minnesota-Morris in 1994, where he doubled as the sports information director.

He spent 5 seasons (1995-99) as the secondary coach at Nebraska-Omaha and also was the defensive coordinator the final three years. UNO won a pair of North Central Conference titles and appeared in the NCAA Division II playoffs twice.

He then coached defensive ends and outside linebackers at New Mexico State in 2000 before spending two seasons (2001-02) as the secondary coach at Colorado State. The Rams won the 2002 Mountain West Conference title and played in a pair of bowl games (New Orleans in 2001 and Liberty in 2002). Safety Dexter Wynn was an NFL draftee.

Sanders was a 3-year (1987-89) letterwinning defensive back at Nebraska. The Cornhuskers played in four bowl games during his time there (1987 Sugar, 1988 Fiesta, 1989 Orange, 1990 Fiesta), won at least 10 games each season and finished in the AP Top 11 each year.

He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nebraska in 1990.

He prepped at Thornwood High in South Holland (Ill.). He was born on Oct. 2, 1967. He and his wife, Susan, have a daughter, Chandler Marie, 20, and a son, Payton, 16.

Hazelton, 38, spent the past five years (2007-11) at North Dakota State, the first three seasons handling the defensive line and the last two years as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

North Dakota State won the 2011 NCAA FCS national championship and its defense ranked in the FCS Top 20 in six categories: first in scoring defense (after it was 90th in 2009, the year before he took over as defensive coordinator), eighth in turnover margin, 16th in pass efficiency defense, 17th in rushing defense, 19th in sacks and 20th in total defense. In 2010, NDSU was seventh in scoring defense and turnover margin, 15th in pass efficiency defense and 19th in sacks as the team advanced to the FCS quarterfinals. In 2008, the Bison led the FCS in pass defense and ranked third in sacks, fifth in total defense and tackles for loss, and 19th in scoring defense. In 2007, NDSU was 18th in defensive third down efficiency and 22th in rushing defense.

He began his coaching career at Fort Lewis College, his alma mater, handling the secondary for four years (1996-99) and serving as interim defensive coordinator in 1998. He then was a graduate assistant working with the safeties for two seasons (2000-01) at North Dakota State (the Bison advanced to the NCAA Division II semifinals in 2000) before becoming the defensive backs coach at St. Olaf College for two seasons (2002-03). He then was the co-defensive coordinator at Missouri Southern State for two years (2004-05), followed by the linebackers coach at Michigan Tech in 2006.

He played linebacker at Fort Lewis, lettering for three years (1992-94). He earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Fort Lewis in 1995.

He prepped at Horizon High in Brighton, Colo.

He was born on Dec. 19, 1973. He and his wife, Brooke, have two daughters, Ava, 7, and Sophie, 5, and a son, Bode, 2.