North Dakota State head coach Matt Entz leaving for assistant role at USC

NDSU has won two FCS national titles since Entz was hired in 2019

FRISCO, TX - JANUARY 08: Head coach Matt Entz of the North Dakota State Bison looks on before the game against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the Division I FCS Football Championship held at Toyota Stadium on January 8, 2023 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
NDSU has won two national titles since Matt Entz was hired ahead of the 2019 season. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

North Dakota State coach Matt Entz is heading to USC.

The school announced Sunday that Entz would be resigning to take an assistant coaching position at the top level of college football. Shortly after NDSU's announcement, USC announced that Entz would be the team's assistant defensive coach and linebackers coach.

North Dakota State is the most successful FCS program of the 2000s and has won two national titles during Entz’s tenure at the school. NDSU won in 2019 and in 2021 and is two wins away from a third national title in six seasons. The Bison play Montana in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs Saturday after beating South Dakota in the quarterfinals.

Entz has been the Bison’s head coach since he was promoted from defensive coordinator after the 2019 season and will stay as the team's coach through the conclusion of the playoffs.

Entz is the third consecutive NDSU coach to leave the Bison for an FBS job, though he’s the first of the three to not leave for a head-coaching position. Craig Bohl left NDSU for Wyoming before his successor with the Bison, Chris Klieman, left for Kansas State.

Klieman was an assistant under Bohl at NDSU before he was promoted. NDSU has won nine national titles since 2011 and won five in a row from 2011-15 as the school had a combined record of 56-5 in that span.

Entz's hire is the second major move for Lincoln Riley as he attempts to reshape USC's defense heading into the 2024 season. Riley fired defensive coordinator Alex Grinch in November following a 52-42 loss to Washington and USC lost its final two games of the year after Grinch's firing to finish 7-5.

Before hiring Entz, Riley hired UCLA defensive coordinator D'Anton Lynn to run the Trojans' defense. UCLA had one of the best defenses in college football in 2023 and allowed just 4.6 yards per play.