Helton Is Officially Gone! Donte Williams In As Interim…

USC fires football coach Clay Helton following loss to Stanford

In a message posted to Twitter on Monday, USC athletic director Mike Bohn announced his decision to “make a change in the leadership of our football program” and thanked Helton for his time as coach.

Associate head coach Donte Williams is set to serve as USC’s interim head coach.

The decision to fire the embattled coach comes in the wake of a deeply disappointing 42-28 loss to Stanford on Saturday at the Coliseum, one of the worst defeats in recent memory for the Trojans. The coaching change came a week after USC struggled before eventually pulling away from San Jose State in the season opener and followed multiple tumultuous seasons. Fan discontent has swelled, reaching a feverish pitch during the loss to the Cardinal.

Helton closed his tenure with a 46–24 record, but the team is 19-15 since 2018.

USC’s performance and swelling outrage among boosters apparently outweighed any concerns that came with paying a hefty buyout in the midst of a financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. That price tag, which has been difficult to pin down because USC is a private school not required to release contracts in response to public records requests, was believed to be one of the primary factors in Bohn’s previous decision’s to retain Helton.

Many thought USC might part ways with Helton after last season’s Pac-12 championship game loss to Oregon, which capped a year marked by more unfilled promises of progress. USC closed the 2020 season in the same position it was at the end of the 2019 campaign, when Bohn made the controversial decision to give Helton another chance.

As the health crisis wiped out games in 2020 and threatened to upend the season at any moment, the Trojans managed to win their first five contests and earned a place on the fringes of the College Football Playoff semifinal conversation.

Yet three of those victories required furious comebacks in the final minute against teams that would finish with a 5-11 record during the shortened season. The luck finally ran out during the Pac-12 title game loss. USC did not earn a bowl bid and entered the offseason with more questions Helton ultimately ran out of time to address.

latimes.com

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John Weld
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John Weld (@johnnynumbers)
September 13, 2021 3:03 pm

If you click on each of the pages you will be able to read the entire statement.

John Weld
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John Weld (@johnnynumbers)
September 13, 2021 3:46 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

CORRECTION: The odds were not changed, the odds remain USC -8.5

Last edited 5 days ago by John Weld
alfa1
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alfa1 (@alfa1)
September 13, 2021 4:12 pm
Reply to  John Weld

It’s somewhat ironic, in ‘09 Harbaugh got to Pete on his final season, now Shaw, has bettered Helton on his last.

Steveg
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Steveg (@steveg)
September 13, 2021 4:33 pm
Reply to  John Weld

TDB is staying at 8.5, right?

John Weld
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John Weld (@johnnynumbers)
September 13, 2021 4:46 pm
Reply to  Steveg

Correction: THE ODDS HAVE NOT CHANGED AFTERALL.

Golden Trojan
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Golden Trojan (@golden-trojan)
September 13, 2021 5:10 pm
Reply to  John Weld

The betting should go crazy! Thanks John this contest just jumped through the roof!

John Weld
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John Weld (@johnnynumbers)
September 13, 2021 5:12 pm
Reply to  Golden Trojan

GT: Please see the correction listed above.

Golden Trojan
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Golden Trojan (@golden-trojan)
September 13, 2021 5:51 pm
Reply to  John Weld

Liking SC in this one at -8.5 way more now than this AM.

Steveg
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Steveg (@steveg)
September 13, 2021 6:59 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Be nice to see some 4&5 stars considering coming to USC now. Especially some linemen.

Trojan96
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Trojan96 (@trojan96)
September 13, 2021 11:33 pm

Finally! Today is a very good day.

HOF19
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HOF19 (@hof19)
September 13, 2021 5:54 pm

I totally believe that Bohn CONSTANTLY has Luke Fickell on his mind (and probably has a very good idea allready on whether Fickell is interested or not ).

Steveg
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Steveg (@steveg)
September 13, 2021 4:35 pm

Allen, we have been waiting a long time to post that headline. You finally got to do it!!

volunteerTrojan
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volunteerTrojan (@volunteertrojan)
September 13, 2021 4:28 pm

Love the timing. No need to wait on the inevitable. Gives Donte time to show what he can do with no risk. Gives time to conduct a proper search. Gives interested parties a chance to reveal their interest. Preempts the usual late season coaching carousel.

TrojanRJJ
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TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
September 13, 2021 7:50 pm

Donte cannot be the next HC if Bohn is to be believed. He is only a DB coach and a great recruiter. He will be on the next staff and very well compensated. SC needs a quality HC. My guess, if I were picking, would be Campbell of Iowa State. He was just eliminated from the NC picture by Iowa and the Big 12 is now a grave yard.

Rushmore
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Rushmore (@rushmore)
September 13, 2021 4:15 pm

I have shared the news with several fellow Trojans and the universal response is relief and joy! Conquest is playing on a continuous loop in my head along with visions of Traveler racing around the Coliseum. Fight on!

Last edited 5 days ago by Rushmore
Golden Trojan
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Golden Trojan (@golden-trojan)
September 13, 2021 4:29 pm
Reply to  Rushmore

It is a good thing the track is gone in the Coli, Traveller would be going so fast he would never make that turn!

Rushmore
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Rushmore (@rushmore)
September 13, 2021 4:39 pm
Reply to  Golden Trojan

For sure, Golden. But my vision relates back to my golden student days at USC when OJ and Traveler ran wild and free in the Coliseum.

Golden Trojan
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Golden Trojan (@golden-trojan)
September 13, 2021 4:43 pm
Reply to  Rushmore

Traveller full gallop down the track was a sight.

HOF19
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HOF19 (@hof19)
September 13, 2021 4:14 pm

Well it is #1 story on ESPN Sportscenter………..Every media person interviewed on ESPN in the last hour (when discussing why ) every freakin college football reporter has said in the last hour >>>>>”USC wants to be a top 10/top 5 program in the country ” ,,,,So at least the national college football media is showing that they know where the USC Fan Base wants this program (Level-wise) to be !!!!!!

Chris
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Chris (@chris)
September 13, 2021 4:09 pm

Allen and John,
thanks for your graciousness.

so excited for today. Excited to see what Donte can do. Excited to see what Bohn will do. But most of all excited to have some honest hope thrown back into our football program.

Golden Trojan
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Golden Trojan (@golden-trojan)
September 13, 2021 4:06 pm

I just want to give a huge shout out, THANK YOU STANFORD FOR KICKING OUR BUTT! I still hate your band but today I love you!

Rushmore
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Rushmore (@rushmore)
September 13, 2021 4:09 pm
Reply to  Golden Trojan

Ditto. Thank you coach Shaw.

John Weld
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John Weld (@johnnynumbers)
September 13, 2021 4:01 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I vote for Tony Elliott. He is from Southern California and has good training at Clemson. Only downside, never been a head coach.

Mikejohn
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Mikejohn (@mikejohn)
September 13, 2021 5:10 pm
Reply to  John Weld

I do not think hiring Tony Elliot has a downside. Not having head coach means little, imo, when projecting whether a hire will ultimately be a success or a failure. I admit I know nothing of Tony Elliot’s “credentials” other than has all the good training and experience one could want with Coach Swinney as a boss and tutor.

Steveg
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Steveg (@steveg)
September 13, 2021 4:32 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Franklin always comes up but I think he is not that good of a coach and fits very well at PSU. Would Kiffen come back? lol Campbell is my first choice, and I don’t think we can outbid Nike for Cristobal.

Rock2112
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Rock2112 (@rock2112)
September 13, 2021 3:25 pm

After Saturday night, this is the only way Helton was ever going to vacate the #1 position on CoachesHotSeat.com.

Steveg
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Steveg (@steveg)
September 13, 2021 3:20 pm

According to Bohns statement, he had given Helton everything he possibly could to better the program and it was now time for the change. It is posted on facebook under USC Trojans.

Rushmore
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Rushmore (@rushmore)
September 13, 2021 3:15 pm

What a relief. Way past time.

HOF19
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HOF19 (@hof19)
September 13, 2021 3:13 pm

Most HAD TO GET FIRED situation I personally have experienced as a fan of a team in decades !…..Lets be picky on his replacement ……..FIGHT ON !!!!!

RialtoTrojan
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RialtoTrojan (@rialtotrojan)
September 13, 2021 3:08 pm

Cue the munchkins: Ding Dong the CAT is gone. Which ol’ CAT? The Richest Cat. Ding Dong the the Richest CAT is gone!
Hi-Ho the merry Oh, They went High he went Low Hi -HO the richest CAT is gone….(sing it all the way home)

Steveg
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Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
September 13, 2021 3:18 pm
Reply to  RialtoTrojan

The Stanford game was Heltons 10th life. He has exhausted his first 9.

ATL D.D.S.
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ATL D.D.S. (@atl-d-d-s)
September 13, 2021 5:24 pm
Reply to  RialtoTrojan

Catchy, RT!😎

Steveg
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Steveg (@steveg)
September 13, 2021 2:59 pm

This is a great opportunity to see Donte step in as interim and see just what he is made of without a long term contract to deal with. Hopefully the philosophy at USC changes immediately. Now that 8.5 point spread looks inviting. Wow, finally!!!!

Jamaica
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Jamaica (@jamaica)
September 13, 2021 2:53 pm

I am so happy I am almost in tears! It has been hard being so negative on this website for the last 4-years when I love USC football.

usc50
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usc50 (@usc50)
September 13, 2021 2:51 pm

This is the best news this year.
There can now be new life in the football program.
The key now is taking time to make the correct decision.
No rush, take all year if necessary.
The key is to make a good decision.
Donte can do the job in the meantime.
Hire a coach who has had HC experience.

Steveg
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Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
September 13, 2021 3:07 pm
Reply to  usc50

What names pop up for you. Stoops? Campbell? Kiffen? Fleck? Christobol? Norvell? Harsin? Fickell? Saban? Whittingham? Lots to choose from, hope they make a good hire. For all we know Donte could be the guy, at least now we have a chance to see.

RialtoTrojan
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RialtoTrojan (@rialtotrojan)
September 13, 2021 3:09 pm
Reply to  Steveg

Anybody from HS to the Pros JUST NOT HELTON

Steveg
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Steveg (@steveg)
September 13, 2021 2:48 pm

Thank you God. I am so happy I am speechless. Bohn heard us.