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Clancy Pendergast

Clarence Clifford Pendergast III[1] (born November 29, 1967) is the defensive coordinator for the USC Trojans football team. He is the former defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, and the California Golden Bears.

Clancy Pendergast
Current position
TitleDefensive Coordinator
Biographical details
Born (1967-11-29) November 29, 1967 (age 51)
Phoenix, Arizona
Alma materArizona
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1991Mississippi State (GA)
1992USC (GA)
1993–1994Oklahoma (GA/TE)
1995Houston Oilers (DQC)
1996–1999Dallas Cowboys (DQC)
2000–2002Dallas Cowboys (DB)
2003Cleveland Browns (LB)
2004–2008Arizona Cardinals (DC)
2009Kansas City Chiefs (DC/DB)
2010–2012California (DC)
2013USC (DC/DB)
2014–2015San Francisco 49ers (LB)
2016–presentUSC (DC)

Early coaching careerEdit

He was a graduate assistant or assistant coach at Mississippi State, University of Southern California, University of Oklahoma, and University of Alabama at Birmingham before joining the Houston Oilers in 1995.

After a year with the Oilers, he joined the Dallas Cowboys, where he spent seven seasons, first as defensive assistant/quality control/linebackers coach (1996–99), and later handing responsibilities in nickel defense packages (2000) and the secondary (2001–02). Pendergast helped develop first-round draft pick Roy Williams into a Pro Bowl safety. In 2003, he was linebackers coach with the Cleveland Browns.

Arizona CardinalsEdit

While working in Cleveland, Pendergast impressed personnel man Jeremy Green to the point that when Green's father, Dennis Green, became the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Jeremy convinced him to interview Pendergast for the job. Green was so impressed that he hired Pendergast as the Cardinals' Defensive Coordinator.

After Dennis Green's firing, he was retained as defensive coordinator under new Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Pendergast helped lead the Cardinals into Super Bowl XLIII, but was fired on Friday February 6, 2009, less than one week after Arizona lost to Pittsburgh 27-23 in the Super Bowl.[2]

Kansas City ChiefsEdit

When the Cardinals fired Pendergast, he was immediately linked with a move to Kansas City Chiefs. Clancy Pendergast officially became the defensive coordinator for the Chiefs on March 13, 2009, where he reunited with Head Coach Todd Haley, who was offensive coordinator at Arizona during Pendergast's time there.[3] On January 14, 2010, the Chiefs named former Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel their new defensive coordinator. According to Pendergast was not retained for the 2010 season by the Chiefs in any coaching position. Pendergast was hired to become the Oakland Raiders defensive backs coach on February 6, 2010.[4]

California Golden BearsEdit

On February 19, 2010, Pendergast was hired as defensive coordinator for the California Golden Bears, succeeding Bob Gregory.[5] Under Pendergast, the Golden Bears led the conference in total defense, pass defense and fewest first downs allowed in 2010 and 2011. Pendergast also helped produce nine NFL players, including first-round pick defensive end Cameron Jordan, and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year linebacker Mychal Kendricks. He gained a reputation for containing the spread offense after his 2010 Bears slowed down Chip Kelly's No. 1 ranked Oregon Ducks, holding them to 40 points below their average in a 15–13 loss.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

The son of a farmer, Pendergast attended Tolleson High School, where his sister, Bonnie Pendergast, now teaches calculus. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1990, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in agriculture. Pendergast did not play football in college, but did coach his fraternity team (Phi Gamma Delta).[7]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Claney Pendergast Won't Return to Cardinals, February 6, 2009
  3. ^ "Chief Hire Pendergast". Yahoo Sports. March 13, 2009.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Cal hires Pendergast as defensive coordinator". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on 2010-02-23. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^

External linksEdit