Robinson was just named the Pac-12 Recruiter of the Year by 247Sports and had drawn praise for his work with USC’s running backs, helping Ronald Jones II to a 1,000-yard season. The Trojan backs averaged 200 yards rushing per game in 2016.
He had had similar success with the Trojans in 2013, during his first stint with USC under Lane Kiffin and Orgeron as an interim. When Steve Sarkisian was hired, Robinson left to join the Texas coaching staff, where he served for two seasons before returning to join Clay Helton’s staff in 2016.
From a coaching standpoint, Robinson’s loss is a major one for USC. From a wider perspective, Robinson’s departure also nixes the Trojans’ plans of rolling into the 2017 season with an unchanged coaching staff for the first time since 2008.
Now, Helton and company will have to seek a replacement before the start of spring camp.
One obvious solution would be to tap outside linebackers coach Johnny Nansen, who had been USC’s running backs coach before Robinson’s return.