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Friday, July 3, 2020

Report: New USC AD leaning toward keeping Clay Helton

Clay Helton USC

USC coach Clay Helton may be about to defy the odds and keep his job yet again.

According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Helton is impressing his bosses at USC, and they appear to be leaning toward keeping him for 2020. New athletic director Mike Bohn is said to be pleased with Helton, and university president Carol Folt likes his leadership style.

Both are impressed with how hard the team is still playing, particularly in spite of injuries. USC managed to become the only team to beat Utah this season, for instance, and did so with third-string quarterback Matt Fink under center due to injuries. While there are lingering concerns about Helton’s recruiting classes, he is credited with bringing stability to the program.

There is some belief that the new administration will face a pushback from fans and donors if they keep Helton for another season, as they are leaning toward doing. There is some thinking that keeping Helton would give Bohn another year to figure out what he wants in terms of a football coach, and would buy him more time to make that decision.

Helton is 40-21 as USC’s coach. While not bad, this is a fanbase that expects to be in playoff contention, and Helton has yet to deliver that.

Perhaps we should have seen this coming when it was indicated that administrators were not interested in the biggest coach on the market. For now, the status quo seems most likely to remain in place, potentially to the chagrin of USC boosters.

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