USC fires coach Clay Helton two games into seventh season leading Trojans

USC fired coach Clay Helton on Monday simply two days after it fell 42-28 as a double-digit favourite at house towards Stanford. He was two video games into his seventh season because the Trojans’ coach.

Helton was 46-24 in his seven-plus seasons at USC and 6-2 in his final eight video games, together with a 5-1 mark throughout a 2020 season shortened as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. USC entered the Pac-12 Championship Sport undefeated final season however fell to Oregon.

Cornerbacks coach Donte Williams will function the Trojans’ interim head coach. 

“This afternoon, I knowledgeable Clay Helton of my choice to make a change within the management of our soccer program,” mentioned USC athletic director Mike Bohn in a press release. “Clay is among the best human beings I’ve ever met on this business, and he has been an incredible function mannequin and mentor to our younger males. We recognize his a few years of service to our college and need him nothing however the perfect. Per our values as an establishment, he deserves the utmost respect from the Trojan Household throughout this transition.”

Helton had been at USC since 2010 as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. He twice served as an interim head coach, main the Trojans to a 5-4 report on the finish of the 2015 season after changing the ousted Steve Sarkisian. Helton was employed full-time forward of the 2016 season and instantly led USC to a 21-6 report in his first two full campaigns with a pair of New 12 months’s Six bowl appearances.

Nonetheless, USC cratered to 5-7 in 2018, lacking a bowl sport and ending underneath .500 for the primary time in almost twenty years. An 8-5 season in 2019 confirmed enchancment however led to continued unrest. With modifications in athletic management affecting this system’s decision-making, USC retained Helton in 2020, and the Trojans largely confirmed promise. Nonetheless, Saturday’s loss to Stanford was clearly the ultimate straw.

“I wish to be exceptionally clear: our college and its management are dedicated to profitable nationwide championships and restoring USC soccer to glory,” defined Bohn. “This choice represents our subsequent step towards that purpose in what has been a considerate and strategic course of to construct a complete soccer group equal to the premier applications within the fashionable panorama. I settle for the large duty I’ve to our present and former gamers and all the Trojan Household to stay as much as our unimaginable heritage.”

Helton’s firing is simply the most recent domino to fall in an period of instability at USC. Earlier than the 2013 season, USC had by no means fired a coach in the midst of a season. Since then, Lane Kiffin, Sarkisian and Helton have been all fired inside the first six weeks of their respective ultimate seasons as USC tried to claw its method again to nationwide relevance. 

USC nonetheless narrowly ranks within the prime 10 of 247Sports’ Talent Composite, largely on the again of a top-five class in 2018 and touchdown the consensus No. 2 total prospect, Korey Foreman, within the Class of 2021. Alongside the margins, outcomes have been far much less constant. USC turned to the switch portal to fill out an embarrassing 2020 class that ranked No. 64 within the nation, per 247Sports. The 2019 class ranked No. 20, and the 2022 class sits at No. 29 between Tennessee and Baylor. 

The recruiting issues have translated into solely a handful of really elite NFL prospects creating at USC. Within the three drafts since quarterback Sam Darnold departed, USC had simply 4 gamers drafted within the first three rounds. For comparability, Pete Carroll’s USC groups had 5 first-round picks alone from 2003-05.

Helton was the second-longest tenured Pac-12 coach. Solely Stanford’s David Shaw had been in his present function longer. | USC fires coach Clay Helton two video games into seventh season main Trojans


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