USC Axes Helton

The last straw in Clay Helton’s unspectacular stint as head coach at USC came only two games into the 2021 season.

Helton was dismissed by athletic director Mike Bohn on Monday, continuing a coaching carousel that has wobbled since Pete Carroll left in 2010, followed by Lane Kiffin, Ed Orgeron, and Steve Sarkisian.

On Saturday, the Trojans embarrassingly fell 42-28 to Stanford as a massive home favorite to drop to 1-1 with four consecutive Pac-12 games up next.

  • The Trojans went 46-24 and won the Pac-12 just once under Helton, including two stints as interim coach before being hired full-time in 2015 to replace Sarkisian.
  • Helton was under contract through 2023 and earned $4.6 million per season.
  • USC reportedly bought him out for around $12 million.

Associate head coach Donte Williams was named interim head coach, making him the first Black head coach in USC football history.

While the Trojans haven’t won a national championship since 2004 — or a bowl game since Helton guided them to the 2017 Rose Bowl title — the USC head coaching job is one of the most coveted in all of football.

Bohn told reporters that a national search for a replacement will take place over the next several months.