The University of Southern California has just announced that Clay Helton has been fired as head football coach. USC formally hired Helton after being the offensive coordinator and interim head coach in 2014. As head coach he has posted a 42-26 record, winning the Pac-12 once and the South division three times.
Trojan fans first started to doubt Helton after starting the 2016 season 1-2 with a loss to Stanford and a 46 point loss to Alabama. Helton righted the ship winning 9 out of the last 10 games including a victory over Penn State in a thriller Rose Bowl game. He followed that with a Pac-12 championship but lost in the Cotton Bowl 24-7 to the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Since 2017 it has been a disappointment. In 2018 the Trojans failed to make a bowl game, and in 2019 they finished at a mediocre 8-5 with an embarrassing loss to Iowa in the Holiday Bowl. 2020 showed some promise finishing 5-1 during the pandemic with their only loss coming to Oregon in the Pac 12 Championship. This created expectations for this season.
After a sloppy win against San Jose State, and a loss to Stanford, USC finally decided it was time to part ways with Clay Helton. He is in no way a bad football coach. He will no doubt move on to coach at a lower power 5 or group of 5 program. Honestly, he’ll most likely be successful there, but he just couldn’t meet the standards of the USC Trojans.