Nansen, Heyward, Sirmon Named USC Football Assistant Coaches


    Dec. 6, 2013

    Johnny Nansen, Keith Heyward and Peter Sirmon have been named USC assistant football coaches, new Trojan head coach Steve Sarkisian announced today (Dec. 6).

    Also, Sarkisian said that current USC assistant Tee Martin will remain at USC. Martin joined the USC staff in 2012.

    All 3 new Trojan coaches came to USC from Washington, Sarkisian's prior stop.

    "I'm fired up to have Johnny, Keith and Peter join the staff, as well as keeping Tee on board," said Sarkisian. "We're on the right path in putting together one of the best coaching staffs in America."

    Sarkisian plans to name the remainder of his coaching staff in the near future, at which time specific titles and job responsibilities will be announced for each coach.

    The 2013 USC football team will be playing in a yet-to-be determined bowl game this month. Current Trojan offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Clay Helton will serve as interim head coach during the bowl.

    Season tickets for USC's 2014 football season, which includes home games against Notre Dame, Fresno State, Arizona State, Oregon State, California and Colorado, are available for new season ticket holders online by visiting HERE or by calling 1-855-WePlay4.



    Johnny Nansen was at Washington the past 5 seasons (2009-13) in a variety of roles. He was the special teams coordinator all 5 years and recruiting coordinator the first 4 years. He doubled as the defensive line coach the first 3 seasons and as the running backs coach in 2013. He also was the assistant head coach the past 2 seasons.



    In 2013, the Huskies were in the national Top 20 in rushing offense, as Doak Walker Award finalist Bishop Sankey was among the nation's rushing leaders. In 2011, UW ranked No. 7 in the nation in net punting and No. 21 in punt return defense. He mentored NFL draft pick Alameda Ta'amu on the defensive line. In 2010, his special teams featured school record-setting punter Kiel Rasp. In 2009, Nansen coached UW defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, an NFL draftee who finished his career with a school-record 30 sacks. The Huskies played in the 2010 Holiday Bowl, 2011 Alamo Bowl, 2012 Las Vegas Bowl and 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl.

    The 39-year-old Nansen came to UW after having spent 5 seasons (2004-08) at Idaho, where he worked with the linebackers, defensive line and special teams.

    He began his coaching career as the defensive coordinator at Cabrillo High in Long Beach (Calif.) in 1998. He then was a graduate assistant at Louisville in 1999, working with the defensive line as the Cardinals earned a berth in the Humanitarian Bowl, before spending the 2000 season at Montana State as the running backs coach and 3 years (2001-03) at Idaho State, the first 2 years as the cornerbacks coach (the Bengals won the Big Sky title in 2002) and the last as the secondary coach.

    Nansen was a 3-year (1994-96) letterman linebacker at Washington State. The Cougars played in the 1994 Alamo Bowl. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration there in 1997.

    He was a standout quarterback at Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan High.

    He and his wife, Hale, have 2 daughters, Makena Lei and Kealie Lei, and a son, Johnny Jr.


    Keith Heyward was Washington's secondary coach the past 2 seasons (2012-13). UW's pass defense in 2012 ranked 23rd nationally. He coached safety Sean Parker, who had 11 career interceptions. The Huskies played in the 2012 Las Vegas Bowl and 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl.

    Before Washington, he was the secondary coach for 4 seasons (2008-11) at Oregon State, his alma mater. He coached such future NFL players Brandon Hughes, Keenan Lewis, Brandon Hardin, Al Afalava, James Dockery and Suaesi Tuimaunei. The Beavers played in the 2008 Sun Bowl and 2009 Las Vegas Bowl.

    Before that, he was the linebackers coach at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2007 after serving as a graduate assistant at Oregon State for 2 seasons (2005-06), working with the cornerbacks the first season and the next with the defensive line when the Beavers played in the Sun Bowl.

    Heyward, 34, was a 4-year (1997-2000) letterwinning cornerback for the Beavers, earning All-Pac-10 honorable mention as a senior when he played in the 2 bowls, including the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, and the all-star Hula Bowl. He started 35 consecutive games.

    He earned his bachelor's degree in communications from Oregon State in 2002.

    He played professionally for the BC Lions in the CFL, the Scottish Claymores in NFL Europe and the L.A. Avengers in the Arena League.

    He prepped at Taft High in Woodland Hills (Calif.).

    He was born on Feb. 2, 1979. He and his wife, Cameo, have a daughter, Kendyl.


    Peter Sirmon was Washington's linebackers coach the past 2 years (2012-13), as well as its recruiting coordinator in 2013. The Huskies played in the 2012 Las Vegas Bowl and 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl.

    Sirmon, 36, spent the 2011 season coaching the linebackers at Tennessee after serving as the Volunteer's graduate assistant in 2010, working with the safeties as the team earned a berth in the Music City Bowl.

    He was a graduate assistant at Oregon, his alma mater, in 2009, helping the Ducks to the Pac-12 championship and a Rose Bowl berth.

    In 2008, he coached linebackers at Central Washington, helping lead the Wildcats to a trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs.

    He was a linebacker with the Tennessee Titans for 7 seasons (2000-06), starting 5 of those years. The Titans won 2 division championships and appeared in the NFL playoffs 3 times during his tenure.

    He started at linebacker for 4 seasons (1996-99) at Oregon, leading the team in tackles in 1997 and 1999 and earning All-Pac-10 first team honors as a senior. He played in 3 bowl games, plus the Senior Bowl.

    He received his bachelor's degree in political science from Oregon in 1999.

    He prepped at Walla Walla (Wash.) High.

    He was born on Feb. 18, 1977. He and his wife, Lindsay, have 4 children: Jackson, Presley, Savanna and Sadie.