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O/NSO: The USC Mount Rushmore series – The Assistant Coaches

O/NSO: The USC Mount Rushmore series – The assistant coaches

The Obvious: Look at the great national championship USC football teams and its conference title holders, and you’ll not only find great to legendary head coaches, but assistant coaches that also rise to the elite level. 

The Not So Obvious: Honestly, selecting an O/NSO four-man Mount Rushmore of assistant coaches for the University of Southern California is probably ludicrous on its own merit. There have been so many great USC assistant coaches throughout the decades that one could choose four alternates worthy of being Mount Rushmore finalists. To try and condense all the nominees, the O/NSO used the following criteria: An assistant coach had to be at USC for at least two seasons, they were judged as position coaches first, and whatever they did as an assistant or head coach at another university had no effect on their Trojans resume.   

Now, before announcing our four-man Mount Rushmore of all-time assistant coaches for the modern era, let’s take a moment to recognize those that didn’t make our list but are more than deserving of honorable mention and in no particular order: Foster Anderson, Mike Berry, Dick Beam, Norm Chow, Dick Coury, Al Davis, Tim Davis, Craig Fertig, Wayne Fontes, Joe Gibbs, Ray George, Mike Giddings Mel Hein, Skip Husbands, Don Lindsey, Joe Gibbs, John Robinson, John Jackson, Todd McNair, Norv Turner, Ken Norton Jr., Kennedy Polamalu, Mike Riley, Tom Roggeman, Rod Humennuik, Artie Gigantino, Sam Anno, RC Slocum, Bruce Snyder, Paul Hackett, Jim Stangeland, Bob Toledo, Nate Shaw, Rocky Seto, Don Clark, Nick Holt, Bill Fisk, John Matsko, Phil Krueger, Gil Haskell, Pat Ruel, Willie Brown, Bobby April, Dave Wannstedt, Dennis Thurman, Sam Anno, and Kris Richard.  

One of the most intense and successful assistant coaches was Tim Davis (photo above), whose offensive lines were as physical as they come.

As always, feel free to differ from our selections and inform us of your own selections on the Garry P. WeAreSC message board.

The O/NSO now presents our four-man assistant coaches for our USC Football Mount Rushmore.

The Obvious: Marvin “Marv” Goux (1957-82) is arguably the greatest assistant coach in USC football history, a combination of former Trojans player, elite defensive line coach, superstar recruiter, and perhaps the most passionate and devoted Trojan of them all.

Arguably the greatest USC assistant coach in USC history was Marv Goux (photo above), whose passing is still mourned even today.

The Not So Obvious: Marv Goux came to USC as player (1952-55), a mega-tough center-linebacker from Santa Barbara (Calif.) High School and Ventura JC.

As a USC player, Marv was a three-year starter (1952, 1954-55), and in his final two seasons at Troy, he was both a center and a linebacker. Marv twice won USC’s Davis-Teschke Award, given annually to the team’s most inspirational player. His teammates elected him a captain in 1955. He played in two Rose Bowls.

During his USC coaching career (1957-82), Marv served under head coaches Don Clark, John McKay and John Robinson. The Trojans captured five national championships and played in 11 Rose Bowls (winning 8) during his coaching tenure.

Marv coached 11 first team All-Americans such as George Achica, Gary Jeter, John Grant, Charles Weaver, Al Cowlings, Jimmy Gunn, Tim Rossovich, Damon Bame, Ron Mix, and Marlin McKeever and the late Mike McKeever.

All-American defensive end Tim Rossovich (photo above) is one of the many All-America defensive lineman that Marv Goux coached.

In 1977, he was named assistant head coach by head coach John Robinson.

In 1994, Marv was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the inaugural class and then was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000.

In March of 2002, Marv received an Alumni Service Award from USC. Goux’s Gate, the entrance to the USC football practice field on campus, is named after him.

A tough and competitive coach, the Marv Goux Award is given annually to the Trojan player of the game versus UCLA. The Marv Goux “Trojan For Life” Award is presented annually to a USC alumnus who gives back to the football program.

After leaving USC in 1983, Marv became an assistant with the Rams under new head coach John Robinson. In 1990, he then became an administrator for the Rams before retiring in 1994. He was active with the Trojan Club of the Desert during his retirement.

In the video below, Marv Goux talks about his career as a USC Trojans player and coach.

The Obvious: Dave Levy (1960-75) was one of the brightest and most innovative assistant coaches in USC football history.

Much of John McKay’s success as a head coach at USC was due to having tremendous assistant coaches like Dave Levy (photo above).

The Not So Obvious: Dave Levy served under John McKay for 16 seasons (1960-75) and was instrumental in helping the Trojans win four national championships. After McKay left for the NFL, Levy was a Trojan assistant athletic director for the next four years (1976-79).

It should be noted that as a player, Dave attended Long Beach City College and participated both in football and track (he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Champions in 2006) and then transferred to UCLA where he played football and baseball for the Bruins. After his playing days, he became the head coach at powerhouse Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High where he won a pair of CIF football titles.   

Many believe that Dave should have been John McKay’s USC successor, but his affiliation as a player at UCLA and the fact that he was not considered as charismatic as McKay and John Robinson was a detriment to his becoming the next USC head football coach. It has been reported that McKay wanted Levy as his successor, but USC president John Hubbard wanted the social Robinson to guide the program. A number of former USC players from that era have said in private that Levy should have been McKay’s successor.  

Dave was not only an all-around assistant coach, but he was an excellent offensive mind in his day. He also was a dynamic recruiter.

On the advantages of being a recruiter at USC, Dave once said, “USC is relatively an easy school to recruit at. It’s in a great city, a great population. They had a great heritage. Play in a great big stadium.”

Dave coached a number of great USC players, some of whom he knew when he coached at Long Beach Poly High such as former Trojans All-American and assistant coach Willie Brown.

All-Conference halfback Willie Brown (photo above) was one of many former players that achieved fame by being coached by Dave Levy.

After his Trojans coaching career, Dave became the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers and Detroit Lions, then coached in the CFL, NFL Europe and XFL.

In 2014, Dave was named to the USC Athletic Hall of Fame.  

You’ll get a taste of the knowledge and personality of Dave Levy in the video below when Dave and play-by-play USC voice Mike Walden called the 1979 Trojans victory at LSU from beginning to end.

The Obvious: Hudson Houck (1976-82), former USC center, is not only considered by many as the greatest offensive line coach in USC history but one of the greatest offensive line coaches in NFL history.

Considered the greatest offensive line coach in USC football history, Hudson Houck (photo above) sent scores of offensive linemen into the NFL.

The Not So Obvious: Hudson Houck played center for the Trojans from 1962 to 1964. He won a national championship as a member of the 1962 team, which was the first for legendary coach John McKay.

Hudson began his coaching career as an assistant coach for Crescenta Valley (Calif.) High. Following two years in the United States Army, Hudson resumed his role at Crescenta Valley.

In 1970 Hudson coached the freshmen team at USC, and after two years he became the O-line coach at Stanford. There he coached the first Stanford two-time All-Pac-8 offensive guard and Hall of Famer, Alex Karakozoff and sent several players to the NFL including Gary Anderson, Bill Reid and tutoring eventual All-American and first round NFL draft pick Gordon King.

Hudson returned to Troy in 1976, coaching the offensive line. During this time, he helped send numerous Trojans All-American to the NFL including Marvin Powell, Pat Howell, Brad Budde, Anthony Munoz, Keith Van Horne, Chris Foote, Roy Foster, Bruce Matthews, Don Mosebar, and Tony Slaton.

NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman and member of the USC Athletic Hall of Fame, Bruce Matthews (photo above) is a Hudson Houck disciple.

Although there is not a great amount of video regarding Hudson Houck, below is a video on his return to the Coliseum for a game against Stanford after his retirement. It does give you a sense of the type of coach he was and how much he was beloved by his former players. The former players in this case were Stanford players he had coached before he came to USC.

The Obvious: Ed Orgeron (1998-2004, 2010-2013) is not only one of USC’s great defensive line coaches and unbelievable recruiter, but he became the heart and soul of Trojans under Pete Carroll.

There is little argument that one of the greatest assistant coaches in USC history is former defensive line coach Ed Orgeron (photo above).

The Not So Obvious: Ed Orgeron is one of the most popular assistant coaches in USC history. He touched many lives of players, having served as Troy’s recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach.  

Ed acknowledges that his friendship and mentoring by former Trojans assistant coach legend Marv Goux had a profound effect on his USC and coaching career. Coach O’s booming Cajun voice at practice and during games is legendary, and his relentless drive for perfection for his Trojans defensive line and defense in general is woven deep into USC football lore.    

Among the great USC defensive linemen that Coach “O” mentored were All-Americans Kenechi Udeze, Shaun Cody, Mike Patterson, Nick Perry, Jurrell Casey, all future NFLers. And let’s not forget that Orgeron also got former All-America tackle Leonard “Big Cat” Williams out of Daytona Beach, Florida, to sign with the Men of Troy.  

All-America defensive lineman Shaun Cody (photo above) is one of many D-line talents that Ed Orgeron mentored and ushered into the NFL.

During his time at Troy, Ed put together the Wild Bunch ll and USC won the 2003 and 2004 national championship and played in five bowls games, which included the 1998 Sun Bowl, 2001 Las Vegas Bowl, 2003 Orange Bowl, 2004 Rose Bowl and 2005 Orange Bowl (BCS Championship Game).

The videos below show the essence and passion of Ed Orgeron. In the first video, you see the passion of Coach “O” at the 2012 Spirit of Troy, as he introduces his defensive line. In the second video, it’s a unique look into Ed after he became the interim USC head coach following the firing of Lane Kiffin.

The Obvious: And finally, selecting a four-man Mount Rushmore for assistant  coaches was a major challenge since there were so many qualified candidates.

The Not So Obvious: Next Friday, we’ll release our four-man Mount Rushmore group of USC radio broadcasters.

Below are the previous O/NSO USC Football Mount Rushmore position selections:

The head coach: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-football-mount-rushmore-series-edition-presenting-the-immortal-head-coaches/ 

The quarterbacks: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-quarterbacks/  

The running backs: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-tailbacks/  

The wide receivers: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-wide-receviers/

The fullbacks: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-fullbacks/

The offensive tackles: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-offensive-tackles/

The offensive guards: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-offensive-guards/

The centers: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-centers/

The tight ends: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-tight-ends/

The defensive linemen: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-defensive-linemen/

The standup defensive ends: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-standup-defensive-ends/

The inside linebackers: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-inside-linebackers/ 

The outside linebackers: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-outside-linebackers/

The safeties: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-safeties/

The corners: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-corners/

The kickoff returners: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-kickoff-returners/

The punt returners: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-punt-returners/

The placekickers: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-placekickers/

The punters: https://wearesc.com/o-nso-the-usc-mount-rushmore-series-the-punters/  



Greg Katz
Author
Greg Katz

Now in his 58th season of either writing, broadcasting, or just plain watching USC football, WeAreSC columnist Greg Katz began his affiliation with the website back in 2001, introducing his well-received O/NSO (The Obvious/The Not So Obvious) column and later adding his respected IMHO Sunday opinion and tidbits column. Greg, a former ESPN.com college football staff writer covering USC, is also a member of the Football Writer's Association of America. He is also known in Southern California as a professional public address announcer, having called the the 1996 Rose Bowl Game between USC and Northwestern. Greg also holds a master's degree in athletic administration and was a former varsity high school coach of 27 years.


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