Lincoln Riley explains decision to fire Alex Grinch mid-season
Lincoln Riley met with reporters on Monday night and discussed the decision to part ways with defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.
Riley made the change on Sunday following USC’s 52-42 loss to Washington. It was USC’s third loss overall and its second Pac-12 defeat so far this season. Riley acknowledged that the defense hadn’t made enough strides over the course of the 2023 season.
“We simply weren’t making the progress I think we all expected to make,” Riley said.
Riley also said a reason for the change was that USC still has plenty to play for this season. The Trojans could still get into the Pac-12 Championship Game if they’re able to defeat Oregon and UCLA in their final two games of the regular season.
“We’ve got a big-time challenge, but a big-time opportunity right in front of us here with these last two games,” Riley said. “If we win these two, we could put ourselves in a pretty cool position. So that’s our focus, my focus going forward. If we were in a situation where we didn’t have a whole lot left to play for in terms of a conference championship and having an opportunity there, it might feel a little bit different.”
Defensive line coach Shaun Nua and inside linebackers coach Brian Odom will serve as co-defensive coordinators for the rest of the 2023 campaign.
USC and Oregon will kick off at 7:30 p.m. PT on Saturday night in Eugene.