USC football coaching job profile: Pluses, minuses and candidates with Clay Helton out

After years and years of Clay Helton on the proverbial hot seat, USC has finally made a coaching change, two games into the season. Helton was fired on Monday, two days after a 42-28 home loss to Stanford.

His USC tenure, which dates back to the 2015 season (plus the 2013 bowl game), produced a 46-24 record including his interim stints. He won three division championships, one Pac-12 title and one Rose Bowl. But since the start of 2018, Helton is 19-14. Now, Helton has gone from a top-15 ranking to fired in the span of three days.

“As I committed to upon my arrival at USC, during the past two offseasons, we provided every resource necessary for our football program to compete for championships,” athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement. “The added resources carried significantly increased expectations for our team’s performance, and it is already evident that, despite the enhancements, those expectations would not be met without a change in leadership.”

Now USC finally embarks on a search for a new head coach, something that hasn’t really happened since 2013. Helton was promoted to the job full-time after an interim stint following Steve Sarkisian’s firing.

“We will actively and patiently pursue a coach who will deliver on the championship aspirations and expectations we all share for our football program,” Bohn said. “With our storied history, our talented roster, and the major investments we’ve made in the infrastructure of our football organization, I’m optimistic that we are better positioned right now than we have been at any other time in the past decade to recruit the best and right leader for USC.”

The college football world has changed a lot since USC last had a full search.


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