USC Trojans Coaching Staff 2023

Led by head coach Lincoln Riley, the USC coaching staff features some of the top names in college football coaching with rich and varied résumés.

Widely considered the best young coach in college football, Lincoln Riley has engineered incredible levels of success wherever he’s coached. While the current USC Trojans head coach is well known, who makes up the rest of USC’s coaching staff in 2023?

USC Trojans Coaching Staff

Head Coach, Lincoln Riley

Riley was officially announced as USC’s head coach in late November 2021. On arrival in Southern California, he immediately began a transformation of a once-proud program that had fallen on difficult times. Bringing some of the best talents from his previous program, the 2022 USC team set multiple Trojans records, including most passing yards in a single season.

Between his fledgling tenure at USC and previous five years as the Oklahoma Sooners head coach, Riley has coached three Heisman Trophy winners. Gaining a reputation as a quarterback whisperer, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Caleb Williams won the highest individual accolade in college football under his tutelage.

MORE: Pac-12 QB Rankings 2023

Heading into the 2023 season, Riley boasts a résumé that has made him a highly sought-after coaching commodity. Alongside his multiple Heisman Trophy winners, the USC head coach has won four Big 12 Championships, made three College Football Playoff appearances, and was named the 2018 Big 12 Coach of the Year.

Riley began his head coaching career with Oklahoma in 2017 after several years as a successful QBs coach and offensive coordinator with the Sooners. A former quarterback at Texas Tech under Mike Leach, Riley was an assistant there before climbing the ladder as a WRs coach, then interim OC. Success as a QBs coach and OC at East Carolina paved the way for Riley’s transition to Oklahoma.

Offensive Coordinator, Josh Henson

A former offensive lineman at Oklahoma State who earned second-team All-Big 12 honors in 1997, Josh Henson took his knowledge and success from playing the game and translated it into being one of the most experienced and successful coaches in the college game.

Henson has served on USC’s coaching staff as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach since 2022. In his first season with the Trojans, Henson’s o-line was a semifinalist for the Joe Moore Award. Under his coaching, USC had multiple first-team All-Americans while having one of the most potent offenses in all of college football.

Serving as a college coach since 1999, Henson got his start at the high school level after graduating from Oklahoma State. In 1998, he was an assistant for Kingfisher High in Oklahoma, as the team embarked on a run to the state semifinals. Henson was also a recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State and LSU. His full coaching résumé is below.

  • Oklahoma State (GA, 1999; TE coach 2001-2004)
  • LSU (TE coach 2005-2008)
  • Missouri (co-OL coach, 2009-2012; OC and OL coach, 2013-2015)
  • Oklahoma State (OA, 2016; OL coach, 2017-2018)
  • Texas A&M (OL coach, 2019-2021)
  • USC (OC and OL coach, 2022-present)

Defensive Coordinator, Alex Grinch

Alex Grinch joined the USC coaching staff in 2022, following Riley from Oklahoma to Southern California as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach.

Although the Trojans’ defense saw some national criticism in 2022, Grinch actually helped lead something of a turnaround in his first year with the program. USC went from 74th in turnover margin in 2021 to the highest-ranked team in college football, while Calen Bullock earned first-team All-American honors.

A standout safety at DIII powerhouse Mount Union, Grinch’s highly successful playing career paved the way for coaching success. His full coaching résumé is below, but the USC DC also spent time as a recruiting coordinator in his stops at New Hampshire and Wyoming.

  • Missouri (GA 2002; defensive GA 2003-2004)
  • New Hampshire (CB coach, 2005-2006; secondary coach, 2007-2008)
  • Wyoming (secondary coach, 2009-2011)
  • Missouri (safeties coach, 2012-2014)
  • Washington State (DC and secondary coach, 2015-2017)
  • Ohio State (co-DC and safeties coach, 2019-2021)
  • USC (DC and safeties, 2022-present)

Tight Ends Coach, Zach Hanson

Zach Hanson joined USC’s coaching staff as the tight ends coach in 2022. Previously, he was an offensive line coach at Tulsa from 2020-2021 — coaching first-round NFL draft selection, Tyler Smith.

MORE: Walker Lyons Commits to USC Trojans on National Signing Day 

A former offensive tackle at Kansas State, Hanson began coaching with the Wildcats in 2012. He was also an assistant and analyst at North Carolina and Oklahoma.

Running Backs Coach, Kiel McDonald

A vastly experienced running backs coach, Kiel McDonald joined USC’s staff in 2022. The former Sacramento City College CB came to the Trojans after five successful seasons in Utah, which was preceded by five years with Eastern Washington. In addition to his experience as an RBs coach, McDonald also coached DBs at San Jose City College in 2010.

Outside Linebackers Coach, Roy Manning

Another former Oklahoma coach, Roy Manning converted to USC’s coaching staff, serving as the outside linebackers coach and assistant HC of the defense. Prior to joining the Trojans, the former NFL linebacker was the CBs coach for the Sooners, LBs coach for UCLA and Washington State, and coached both positions at his alma mater, Michigan. Manning also coached RBs at Cincinnati.

Inside Linebackers Coach, Brian Odom

Joining USC in 2022, inside linebackers coach Brian Odom has a rich and varied football résumé that includes coaching ILBs at Oklahoma, OLBs at Missouri, and defensive quality control assistant at Washington State. Odom was also involved in sports performance at both Houston and Arizona.

Defensive Line Coach, Shaun Nua

Shaun Nua boasts an incredible track record of defensive line success. Prior to joining the USC staff in 2022, Nua was the DL coach at Michigan from 2019-2021, working with Kwity Paye and Aidan Hutchinson. Beginning his career with BYU in 2009, Nua has been a defensive line coach since joining Navy in 2012 with a one-year stint with Arizona State in 2018.

Defensive Backs Coach, Donte Williams

A long-tenured cornerbacks coach, Donte Williams has been a member of the USC coaching staff since 2020. While coaching cornerbacks at Oregon, Nebraska, Arizona, San Jose State, and several JUCO programs, Williams was also the interim head coach of the Trojans in 2021 and was considered a potential full-time candidate prior to Riley’s arrival.

Outside Wide Receivers Coach, Dennis Simmons

Outside WRs coach Dennis Simmons has a laundry list of top-tier pass catchers that he’s coached in a long career working with the position. Jordan Addison, CeeDee Lamb, Marquise Brown, Lance Lewis, and Michael Crabtree are just some of the names Simmons has coached across spells with Texas Tech, East Carolina, Washington State, and Oklahoma.

Inside Wide Receivers Coach, Luke Huard

Joining USC’s coaching staff as an offensive analyst early in 2022, Luke Huard earned the role of inside wide receivers coach that spring. His previous coaching stops include Texas A&M (offensive analyst), Georgia State, and Illinois State (OC and QB coach). The 1997 Washington Gatorade Player of the Year also boasts multiple years as a high school head coach.