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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Clay Helton Named USC Head Coach

The Trojans hired the interim coach to a full-time position.

Interim coach Clay Helton will stay on as the USC head coach at the conclusion of this season.

Helton served as the interim head coach for seven regular season games this season, leading the Trojans to a Pac-12 South title after Saturday's win over crosstown rival UCLA.

USC Athletic Director Pat Haden announced the decision Monday in a press release saying, "We have a man with unquestioned integrity. He is a fantastic person and he is real. Clay [Helton] 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 is the fourth coach in as many years for the Trojans, who fired former head coach Steve Sarkisian in October. Critics were quick to question whether the move was a rash decision after beating the Bruins over the weekend. Haden denounced such claims and said he believes "[Helton] can win us Pac-12 and national championships here."

Helton responded to the hiring saying, "During my six years here, I have learned the standard of excellence that it takes to be a Trojan. I understand the expectations of this great university and welcome the challenge. I am so proud to have the chance to lead what I feel is the pinnacle of college football and to represent our Trojan Family."

Helton has served on the USC coaching staff since 2010 as an offenisve coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He also led the Trojans to a victory over Fresno State in the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl, as interim head coach.

The Trojans travel to Santa Clara on Saturday to face the Stanford Cardinal in the Pac-12 Championship at Levi's Stadium.

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