USC fires defensive coordinator Alex Grinch following loss to Washington
USC coach Lincoln Riley has fired defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.
The program announced that news on Sunday afternoon, just one day after the Trojans fell 52-42 at home to Washington. The loss was USC’s third defeat of the 2023 season and its second in Pac-12 play.
Defensive line coach Shaun Nua and inside linebackers coach Brian Odom will serve as co-defensive coordinators for the remainder of the season, per the release. Defensive analyst Taylor Mays has also been elevated into an on-field role as a result of this change.
Grinch had been Riley’s defensive coordinator dating back to his time at Oklahoma. Riley originally hired Grinch to replace Mike Stoops (and interim DC Ruffin McNeil) prior to the 2019 season.
In nearly two seasons with the Trojans, Grinch’s defense never got on track. USC is giving up 6.11 yards per play this season, which ranks 11th in the Pac-12. The Trojans gave up 6.53 yards per play last season.
After USC’s loss to Washington on Saturday night, Riley was asked if he had any regrets about how he has handled the defense this season. Here’s how he responded:
“I’m not into the big-picture questions right now. My job is to go try to beat Oregon next week and to coach what we have here. I know as the head coach that all falls under my responsibility ultimately, and I don’t shy away from that and I never have, but there are times and places for those discussions and those will happen at the appropriate times.”
USC will now prepare for its next test: a meeting with Oregon in Week 11 on the road.