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Kiffin Staffing Up

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The USC football coaching staff has officially made three additions: Offensive line and running game coordinator Mike Summers, running backs and passing game coordinator Tommie Robinson and linebackers coach Mike Ekeler.  In addition, quarterbacks coach Clay Helton has been named the offensive coordinator, while special teams coach John Baxter will add tight ends to his duties and James Cregg will continue to assist with the offensive line.

summers.jpg"I am excited to have completed the reconstruction of our staff," said head coach Lane Kiffin.  "It was a very exhaustive and thorough process.  Mike Summers, Tommie Robinson and Mike Ekeler bring extensive coaching backgrounds to the Trojan program.  They all are looking forward to start working with our players immediately."

In terms of background, Summers (pictured top) is the veteran of the new trio with 32 years as a college coach under his belt.  Most recently, he was the offensive line coach at Kentucky for three seasons, but he has worked the sideline for the Atlanta Falcons, Louisville (2003-06) and Arkansas (2008-09) among others.

"Mike Summers has been an integral part of many high-powered offenses, including one that led the nation in scoring and total offense and others that ranked very high in the various offensive categories.  I was particularly impressed by how highly regarded he is by fellow coaches and by the players he has coached," said Kiffin.

Robinson (pictured bottom) joins USC after coaching running backs for the Arizona Cardinals the last three seasons.  He spent three years at the University of Miami (2007-09) and four at Memphis (2002-05) before that.

mike-ekeler-21.jpg"Tommie Robinson is a veteran who not only is an effective coach and teacher, but he is known for developing great relationships with his running backs.  I know he will do that here and hold our players accountable on and off the field," said Kiffin.

On the defensive side, Ekeler (pictured middle) brings extensive knowledge gained at prestigious programs such as Oklahoma, LSU and Nebraska.  He was Indiana's co-defensive coordinator the past two seasons.

"I have followed Mike Ekeler's career and have been very impressed with what he has accomplished on and off the field," said Kiffin.  "The fact that he is the only player that Bill Snyder ever personally appointed as a team captain at Kansas State speaks to who Mike is and what he is all about.  He will bring intensity, energy and command to our linebacker group.  He also is a proven recruiter on the national level."

As for the shuffle on the current staff, the head coach stressed the importance of developing this young offensive line, which will now be aided by having two dedicated coaches in Summers and Cregg. 

"With so many young offensive linemen who will be so important to our success, I felt it was critical to have two coaches working with this group," said Kiffin.  "It was a natural step to have John Baxter work with the tight ends because he has coached that position for much of his career.  Clay Helton has been vitally involved in our offense in his time here and spent last season as the passing game coordinator."

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