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Kliff Kingsbury accepts job at USC, taking him off the market for Packers

That’s one coaching candidate we can scratch off the list.

NCAA Football: Lamar at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

One down. A few hundred to go.

One of the hottest coaching names in the past week has been that of Kliff Kingsbury, the former Texas Tech head coach who was relieved of his duties following the end of the Red Raiders’ regular season. A former quarterback at Texas Tech and a disciple of Mike Leach, Kingsbury’s modified Air Raid offense put up massive numbers in Lubbock — particularly with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback — even as his team struggled overall.

That helped him become a widely desired candidate for assistant coaching jobs across college football and the NFL. When the Green Bay Packers fired Mike McCarthy on Sunday evening, Kingsbury’s name immediately came up as a possible offensive coordinator, and even got some mild mentions as a potential head coaching candidate.

It’s time to put those dreams to bed. After flirting with the University of Southern California last week, Kingsbury has reportedly accepted a job there on Tuesday. Bruce Feldman of The Athletic had the report first.

This job would presumably be the offensive coordinator and play-calling position for the Trojans, who decided to retain Clay Helton as their head coach for next year. It appears a bit unusual on its face for USC to hire a coach from the Air Raid family, but it’s possible that Kingsbury will tweak his scheme to better suit it to the types of players USC regularly recruits.

For the Packers, Kingsbury seemed like he would have been a genuine possibility as an assistant coach had the team landed Josh McDaniels or Lincoln Riley as Mike McCarthy’s successor. Both of those two men have histories with Kingsbury, with McDaniels spending time with him in New England and Riley coming up through Texas Tech as well.