USC lets go of Tee Martin, others in post season coaching changes

Offensive coordinator Tee Martin is among several personnel who will not be returning in 2019.

In the wake of a disappointing season on Tuesday, USC Athletics announced the departure of offensive coordinator Tee Martin and two others. Martin is no longer with the coaching staff effective immediately.

The announcement confirms several reports that were swirling earlier in the day regarding Martin's status with the team.

In addition, defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze and defensive backs coach Ronnie Bradford were also let go.

It was also announced that quarterbacks coach Bryan Ellis will pursue other opportunities.

The moves mark several coaching changes stemming from USC's 5-7 record. In October, offensive line coach Neil Callaway was also let go.

Following the loss to Arizona State on Oct. 27, Clay Helton stripped Martin of his play calling duties. Helton retained the role, while Martin continued to put together practice and game plans for the team.

At the time Helton said, “I felt it was an appropriate time to become more involved in the offense as we continue to develop our team for the future.”

Following the move, many had wondered what Martin’s role with the team would be moving forward. Martin was hired in 2012 as a receivers coach and was later promoted. Of the move and being a scapegoat for the team’s lack of success Martin said, “After you’ve been a black quarterback in the SEC, there’s really not much people can say to me that I haven’t heard before”

Clancy Pendergast staying

Despite reports stating that defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast would be among those let go, Pendergast will remain with the team. Eric Ziskin, USC’s assistant athletic director, tweeted that rumors of Pendergast’s departure were, “Fake News.”

The tweet with the rumor has since been deleted.

More so, USC’s official football staff presently has Pendergast listed. Martin, Bradford and Udeze are no longer listed on the page.

Defensive line coach

On Tuesday, defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze announced on Twitter that he was leaving the team. His announcement was later confirmed by USC Athletics on that same day. Udeze’s statement read in part, “I couldn’t be more happy with the growth of you guys and couldn’t be more excited with what is on the horizon in your careers. Unfortunately, I will not be here to see it.”

Udeze was a member of USC's 2003 national title winning team. He was hired in 2016 after three years at the University of Washington.

Defensive backs coach

Defensive backs coach Ronnie Bradford will also not be with the team come 2019. Bradford, a 10-year NFL defensive back was in his third season as USC’s secondary coach. Prior to joining USC, Bradford coached for three seasons at Louisiana Tech.

Quarterbacks coach

Quarterbacks coach Bryan Ellis was let go after serving just one season in a full-time role. Ellis handled quarterback duties in an interim role during the 2017 Cotton Bowl. He was later promoted to full-time status as quarterbacks coach. Prior to joining USC, Ellis served in multiple roles at Western Kentucky University from 2014-2016.

Offensive line coach

Offensive line coach Neil Callaway was let go when Martin was stripped of his play calling duties. At the time of the move, Callaway was in the middle of his third season with USC. In his statement Helton said, “I want to thank Neil for all his hard work at USC. He is an outstanding coach coach and great friend.”

Running backs coach Tim Drevno took over for Callaway in addition to keeping his original position. Drevno previously served as the offensive line coach at Michigan and for the San Francisco 49ers.

More to come

It remains to be seen if more moves will be on there way. Presently, heading into the 2019 season, Helton has only five full-time assistants on staff. Joining Pendergast is: John Baxter (Special Teams Coordinator), Johnny Nansen (Linebackers, Recruiting Coordinator, Assistant Head Coach), Tim Drevno (Running backs and offensive line coach) and Keary Colbert (Tight ends and inside receivers coach).

Should Tuesday's moves be the only coaching changes, Helton will have to hire at least half of a new coaching staff in 2019. For now, however, these remain as the only coaching changes announced.

USC Annenberg Media will update this story should more information follow.