Get to know USC interim head coach Clay Helton


USC fired embattled head coach Steve Sarkisian so get to know interim head coach Clay Helton and if he can rally the Trojans like Ed Orgeron did in 2013.

As with any interim head coach, the casual fan may not be too familiar with the name Clay Helton. Understandable, but there may be less excuse for that considering Helton isn’t your average interim coach.

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This is the second time Helton has been named the interim head coach at USC since 2013. Helton served as the interim head coach in the Las Vegas Bowl after Ed Orgeron, the interim head coach after Lane Kiffin was fired, resigned when Steve Sarkisian was named the head coach.

Helton stepped in and led the Trojans to a 45-20 victory over No. 21 Fresno State. After the bowl game, Sarkisian took over as head coach and Helton reverted back to his familiar offensive coordinator position.

Helton announced on his Twitter account on Monday that he was ready to take on this new challenge:

Helton is something of a quarterback guru, having played the position at both Houston and Auburn. Under Helton’s tutelage, USC quarterback Cody Kessler had a spectacular season last year, completing 69.7 percent of his passes, which was a USC record, and tying USC’s touchdown record with 39.

With Sarkisian gone and Helton having a bigger influence on Kessler, it is very possible that Kessler may yet flourish this season and rally the Trojans in the second half of the season, just as USC did for Orgeron in 2013.

USC athletic director Pat Haden wasted no time in making a decision that had to be made, and he may have picked the man to salvage some semblance of a respectable season for the Trojans.

Whether there is any permanence to Helton’s current position or not, expect improvement from USC this season, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

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