New USC Coach Pete Carroll hired his first assistant Monday, naming DeWayne Walker to oversee the secondary. Walker spent the last three seasons in a similar role with the New England Patriots.
"He was with me . . . in the NFL, and he was able to learn my style and understand my system," Carroll said. "He has a vast knowledge of coaching the secondary."
A star defensive back at Pasadena Muir High and Pasadena City College, Walker worked his way up the coaching ranks at Utah State, Brigham Young and California. He replaces Dennis Thurman, a former Trojan All-American who was an assistant at his alma mater for eight years.
Thurman coached the likes of Daylon McCutcheon, Brian Kelly and David Gibson during his time at USC.
"The climate seems right and the timing seems right for me to move on," Thurman said. "The only thing I regret is not coming back for Antuan Simmons and Kris Richard and all the guys I coached there."