USC Targeting DL Coach Vic So’oto

Update  —  Vic So’oto has accepted the USC DL coaching position, giving the Trojans yet another recruiter with strong southern California roots (Oceanside; second cousin of Trojan great Junior Seau).

VirginiaSports.com  —  Vic So’oto finished his third season as a full-time assistant coach on Bronco Mendenhall’s UVA staff in 2019. He was elevated to the position of assistant coach for the Cavaliers’ defensive line after originally joining the Virginia football program in 2016 as a graduate assistant coach.

So’oto’s defensive line were a key component to helping UVA finish 2019 tied for No. 6 in the nation with 46 sacks. The 46 sacks set a single-season UVA team record. The Cavaliers also finished 2019 No. 22 in the nation with 7.1 tackles for loss per game. Eli Hanback led So’oto’s group with 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks, while Aaron Faumui recorded 8.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks, helping UVA win the ACC Coastal Division and make appearance in the program’s first Orange Bowl.

In 2018, So’oto’s defensive line assisted UVA in finishing No. 12 in the nation in team passing efficiency defense (107.62), No. 16 in passing yards allowed (183.0), No. 20 in the nation in team defense (330.5) and No. 20 in scoring defense (20.1). UVA’s 28-0 drubbing of South Carolina in the 2018 Belk Bowl was the first time an SEC team was shutout in a bowl by a non-SEC team since the 1975 Gator Bowl.

In his first season (2017) overseeing the defensive line, Andrew Brown notched 46 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and earned an invite to the Senior Bowl. At nose tackle Hanback recorded 58 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss. Thanks to its pass rush, So’oto coached a defensive front that helped UVA notch the seventh-best pass defense in the nation in 2017.

So’oto was a four-time letter winner at BYU where he began his career as a tight end and played his final three seasons at linebacker and defensive end where he earned All-Mountain West Conference honors as a senior in 2010. He was the first player to commit to the Cougars’ program when Bronco Mendenhall was named head coach.

During his career he suffered two season-ending injuries and was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. He had 12 receptions for 124 yards on offense for the Cougars and tallied 55 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and one interception on defense. He earned his undergraduate degree in geography in 2010.

So’oto made the Green Bay Packers roster in 2011 as a free agent and appeared in seven games. So’oto’s NFL career spanned four seasons and he went on the play for the Oakland Raiders (2012), Washington Redskins (2012), Arizona Cardinals (2013), New Orleans Saints (2013) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2014).

So’oto started his post-playing career under Mendenhall at BYU as an intern in the football office in 2015 working with special projects and came to Charlottesville as a graduate assistant in 2016.

So’oto is a second cousin of NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau. A native of Oceanside, Calif., he and his wife Ashley, who was Mendenhall’s personal assistant in the football office at BYU, have five children — Fia, Ave, Tre, Samson and Mack.

Coach So’oto
Hometown Oceanside, Calif.
High School Carlsbad HS, Carlsbad, Calif., 2005
College BYU, 2010
Family wife, Ashley; five children
Playing Experience
BYU (2005-10)
Green Bay Packers (2011-12)
Oakland Raiders (2012)
Washington Redskins (2012)
Arizona Cardinals (2013)
New Orleans Saints (2013)
Pittsburgh Steelers (2014)
Coaching Experience
2015 – BYU
Project Coordinator
2016 – Virginia
Defensive Graduate Assistant
2017-pres. – Virginia
Defensive Line
Postseason Experience
Las Vegas Bowl (2007) – player
Las Vegas Bowl (2008) – player
Las Vegas Bowl (2009) – player
New Mexico Bowl (2010) – player
Military Bowl (2017)
Belk Bowl (2018)
Orange Bowl (2019)
Former Prominent Players Coached
Andrew Brown (Virginia)


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Steveg
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Great to hear Eric Bienemy is interested in the Colorado job. Just coming off the superbowl win he will bring an uplifting attitude to their program. He would be an improvement over Tucker anyway. I hope they work out a contract, it would be great for the Pac12 also.

danielmcd1
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“If Bohn builds it, they will come…..” AD Mike Bohn is building the USC Trojan football staff from the bottom upwards. He is surrounding the clown prince with talented coaches and recruiters and with one roll of solid duct tape, keep CH away from the practice field and let these newly added pros coach the team. Maybe since Ms Folt would not allow Bohn to remove CH because the buyout was too high we can wait this contract out and replace CH with one of these new coaches eventually down the road and save the buyout money and use it… Read more »

ATL D.D.S.
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Why not make it official and give Helton the job of being foltie’s lackey? He could make coffee, open doors for her, talk soothingly about integrity–this could be a match made in heaven!

Regardless, this would keep Helton safely away from any athletic facility on campus. cool

Paul_Muad_dib
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They should ban Helton from practices. Limit him to simply being in charge of enforcing NCAA rules. During games turn off his head set. Cut the cord or don’t plug it in. Or better yet, have his headset only connect to Madam Folt. They can exchange pleasantries with each other while GH and TO lead the Trojan squad to victory.

Rock2112
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Right. And on game days, I would like Helton up in the press box, at a far corner, without a comm headset, earplugs in, shooting muffs over his ears to boot, wearing a ball-gag, a VR headset, and being carefully watched over at all times.

TrojanMPA90
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This is another great hire. It is obviously clear that Bohn is running the football program. We will have to see if the changes lead to success. I am very optimistic and can’t wait for spring practice.

Steveg
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Any defensive coach that has been schooled by Bronco Mendenhall is worth getting. I am sure Vic is going to be a force to reckon with on the defensive staff and along with Orlando and Williams Helton just needs to get the hell out of the way and let these professionals do their job. I have to say this defensive staff has me pumped. I also now believe we have a genuine elite staff of coordinators and position coaches both defense and offense. Somebody just lock CH in a closet till next January. Then let him out and fire him.

TrojanRJJ
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Consider SC’s hire of a DL coach to UCLA’s. SC hired a coach who has coached the position successfully, who played the position in the pros, who played the position in college and is a good recruiter. UCLA hired a DL coach who has ZERO experience either playing or coaching the position, has coached only RB and LBs, and is historically a good recruiter who failed miserable at his job of recruiting in 2019/2020. I honestly do not know what Chip Kelly is thinking. Thank God for Bohn. His actions are next to miraculous. In late December, SC had the… Read more »

MarkZ
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I think Westwood High went after Nansen for his Poly contacts … of course, one ought to know what to do with them once they sign …

Paul_Muad_dib
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Imagine if USC made these hires BEFORE signing day.

Chris
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Chris
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Yep!

Chris
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Chris
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I think signing day was last straw. Bohn had huge egg on his face with the recruiting and silent commit comments. We know those came from Clay.

TrojanRJJ
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Bohn looked like such an idiot after the first signing day (I am certain that he believed Clay), it appears to have made an impression. Bohn could only conclude that (a) Clay lied to him, or (b) Clay is simply a fool, who looks at everything via his “optimistic” eyes. I think he went with (b) and immediately figured out how to limit Clay’s control of the program. Bohn might have given Clay thru the 2nd signing day to redeem himself. When an RB accepted KY over SC, that would have done it for me. I think Bohn knows exactly… Read more »

MarkZ
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Bohn had to experience “Gentle Clay” first hand … Bohn is no fool and Folt cut the purse strings … all the coaches across the USC sports spectrum should be on notice … and prospective coaches nationwide … TROY’s walls are rising once again …

TrojanRJJ
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Paul, i think the timing was deliberate First, Bohn wanted to see what Clay could do on his own. I think “Thud” was a great description. Second, the last two assistants were actively recruiting for their present employers. That delay shows true intelligent integrity.

Paul_Muad_dib
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Well Bohn could have asked anyone and they would have predicted the “thud”. Seems like a stupid idea to let Helton have yet another chance.

Chris
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These last two hires sure seem like recruiting was as much an influence as position coaches. I’m eager to see how this all looks in the spring.