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Memphis hires Utah State’s Lorig, Fresno State’s Woodson as assistants

Memphis coach Mike Norvell has hired Utah State safeties coach Joe Lorig as special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach and Fresno State secondary coach Marcus Woodson as cornerbacks coach.

Memphis coach Mike Norvell has hired Utah State safeties coach Joe Lorig as special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach and Fresno State secondary coach Marcus Woodson as cornerbacks coach, according to a source.

It’s a reuniting of Norvell and Lorig, who were assistants together at Arizona State from 2012–13. Woodson played for nearby Ole Miss from 2000–02 and is a well known Southern recruiter.

This past season was Lorig’s second at Utah State. He was the Aggies’ linebackers coach last season before moving to safeties this year.

Prior to that, he was Arizona State’s special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach for two seasons. From 2008–11, he was Central Washington’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.

The 42-year-old Lorig coached UTEP’s linebackers in 2007 after eight seasons at Idaho State. The last four of those were as defensive coordinator, during which time he coached NFL Pro Bowler Jared Allen. Lorig was the Bengals’ linebackers coach from 2001–02 and cornerbacks coach from 1999 through 2000.

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He got his start in coaching at his alma mater, Western Oregon, as secondary coach from 1995–97. He was a cornerback for the program after also playing at Walla Walla College.

The 34-year-old Woodson just completed his second season as Fresno State’s secondary coach. Before that, he was Charleston Southern’s secondary coach and recruiting coordinator for five years.

A Moss Point, Miss., product, Woodson also coached the secondary at Millsaps from 2005–09. His playing days at Ole Miss were cut short by a knee injury that ended his career in 2003.

A highly regarded young offensive mind, the 34-year-old Norvell became Memphis’s coach last month after spending the last four seasons as Arizona State’s offensive coordinator, deputy head coach and quarterbacks coach.

During his tenure with the Sun Devils, Norvell’s school record-setting offenses were perennially among the FBS’s highest scoring and most explosive. He replaces Justin Fuente, who left in late November to become Virginia Tech’s coach.

Fuente transformed the Tigers from one of college football’s worst programs into a top-25 team with a 26–23 record in four seasons, including a 9–3 mark this past season.