A major college football program is making a big change just after two games in the regular season. On Monday, USC announced head coach Clay Helton had been fired after the team suffered a 42-28 loss to Stanford. Helton finished his run with the Trojans with a 46-24 overall record after being officially named head coach in 2015.
"Clay is one of the finest human beings I have met in this industry, and he has been a tremendous role model and mentor to our young men," USC Director Athletics Mike Bohn said. "We appreciate his many years of service to our university and wish him nothing but the very best. Consistent with our values as an institution, he deserves the utmost respect from the Trojan Family during this transition."
USC Director of Athletics Mike Bohn announced Clay Helton will no longer serve as head coach for the Trojans.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 13, 2021
Donte Williams has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the season. pic.twitter.com/8G4xfPnau6
Bohn announced that associate head coach Donte Williams would serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. "This season is just getting started and we have the opportunity to really do something special with this team and this program," Bohn said. "Donte is an experienced and well-respected coach who is renowned for his ability to develop relationships with student-athletes, and I appreciate his willingness to take on this challenge. We still have control of our own destiny in the Pac-12 Conference, a tremendously talented group of student-athletes, and complete faith in the phenomenal assistant coaches and outstanding support staff in the John McKay Center."
USC will launch a national search for the next coach. Since 2001, USC has had six head coaches with Pete Carroll lasting the longest (2001-2009). Carroll was also one of USC's most successful coaches, leading the team to two AP National Championships and one BCS Championship.
"We will actively and patiently pursue a coach who will deliver on the championship aspirations and expectations we all share for our football program," Bohn said. "With our storied history, our talented roster, and the major investments we've made in the infrastructure of our football organization, I'm optimistic that we are better positioned right now than we have been at any other time in the past decade to recruit the best and right leader for USC." The Trojans are one of the most successful programs in history, winning 855 games and 11 national titles.