The Trojans have announced Monday on Monday, November 30 that Clay Helton will have the job permanently making it one of the craziest coaching carousels in college football history, reported si.com.
As an interim head coach this season, Helton went 5-2 most recently beating cross-town rival UCLA 40-21 on Saturday, November 28. Because of this, they now have a spot in the Pac-12 championship game, stated si.com.
“After weeks of searching the collegiate and pro ranks, interviewing candidates, and speaking with head coaches, athletic directors, NFL executives, and very knowledgeable football people, and after observing Clay in action the past seven weeks, it became abundantly clear that what we were searching for in a coach was right here in front of us,” Athletic Director Pat Haden explained in a statement. “Choosing a coach is an inexact science. In Clay’s case, there is exactness. We have a man with unquestioned integrity. He is a fantastic person, and he is real. Clay is a leader of young men. He is a terrific communicator. He brings high character, stability, continuity, consistency, toughness and resiliency to our program.”
Helton had been a USC assistant for five-plus seasons before he was called upon to interim coach for the second time after Haden fired Sarkisian on October 12. He also was an interim coach for the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl, and he lead the Trojans to a victory over Fresno State. The Trojans finished the regular season with a record of 8-4 overall and 5-3 in conference play, according to latimes.com.
“We made a commitment as a staff seven weeks ago that we would focus on this season, these players, their experience and getting them to a championship,” Helton expressed.