USC Football Hires Clay Helton As Permanent Head Coach, Another Homerun Hire By Pat Haden?


The USC Football team has permanently hired interim coach Clay Helton as the new Trojan head coach. Is this a good decision or another shotgun hire by Pat Haden?

USC has their man and his name is Clay Helton. The interim coach that took over the USC football program mid-season after Steve Sarkisian was fired will now lead the Trojans into a new era.

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After a 5-2 season as interim coach, Helton has apparently impressed USC Athletic Director Pat Haden enough to keep the spot in one of the most prominent positions in college football.

Despite big losses to Notre Dame and Oregon, the wins over Utah, Cal, Arizona, Colorado and an injury-depleted UCLA team were enough for USC to put thier complete faith in Helton and lead them into the future.

But is Helton the right guy?

Honestly, this seems like a shotgun hire by USC in order to keep some stability. This hire seems like Haden kept Helton to appease the players and recruits, yet only a portion of the fan base. If USC wants to return to elite status, this is not how you do it, just ask UCLA basketball fans.

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First off, this decision came just two days after USC’s 40-21 victory over UCLA to finish the regular season. The Trojans still have two more games to play as they take on Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game (whom USC lost to at the start conference play, 41-31) and then their bowl game.

Secondly, with an off-season that looks to have an interesting coaching carousel, USC misses out on the possibility of a huge hire, one that is bigger than Helton.

To be completely truthful, and not just being cheeky about a rival school, Haden made this dcision way too soon. Helton did a decent job taking over the Trojans after the Sarkisian debacle, but the next USC head coach should have probably be someone with actual and long-lasting HC experience (though it could be argued that the expectations at USC makes this position slightly undesirable to some).

It also speaks volumes when USC’s rival fan base applaud a head coaching hire like this. Like Lane Kiffin and Sarkisian before Helton, the overwhelming feeling from the UCLA fan base is that they approve of this hire.

Either way, at this point Haden has made his decision and must live with the consequences, because if Helton fails, Haden fails and will not be given another chance.