Clay Helton
File:Clay Helton in 2013.jpg
Helton in 2013
Current position
TitleHead coach
Annual salary$3.8 million
Biographical details
Born (1972-06-24) June 24, 1972 (age 47)
Gainesville, Florida
Alma materUniversity of Houston, 1994
Playing career
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
1 Pac-12 (2017)
2 Pac-12 South Division (2015, 2017)

Charles Clay Helton (born June 24, 1972) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head coach at the University of Southern California.

Helton has also been a coach for Duke Blue Devils, Houston Cougars and Memphis Tigers. His father, Kim Helton, was a coach in college, the National Football League, and the Canadian Football League.

Early lifeEdit

Charles Clay Helton was born in 1972 in Gainesville, Florida, where his father Charles Kimberlin "Kim" Helton was then a graduate assistant for the University of Florida football team.[1][2] The Helton family later lived in the Miami, Tampa Bay, and Houston areas, as Kim Helton later coached for the University of Miami, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Houston Oilers.[2] Clay Helton attended Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas and graduated in 1990.[3]

College playing careerEdit

After redshirting his freshman year, Helton played college football at Auburn as quarterback. In 1993, Helton transferred to Houston, after his father was hired as head coach there.[1] Helton was a backup quarterback at both Auburn and Houston and graduated from Houston in 1994 with a degree in mathematics and interdisciplinary science.[1][3] At Houston, Helton completed 47 of 87 passes for 420 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions and played 16 games.[4]

Coaching careerEdit

In 1995, Helton enrolled at Duke University and became a graduate assistant for the Duke Blue Devils football team under Fred Goldsmith. Helton later was promoted as running backs coach in 1996.[3]

Helton joined his father at Houston to be running backs coach in 1997 and remained in that position until 1999, Kim Helton's final season as head coach.[3]

After leaving Houston, Helton joined Rip Scherer's staff at Memphis also as running backs coach. Helton stayed on staff under new coach Tommy West, who replaced Scherer in 2001, and moved to coaching the wide receivers in 2003. By 2007, Helton was promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Players Helton coached at Memphis include DeAngelo Williams, a first-round NFL draft pick in 2005, and 2006 Conference USA All-Freshman pick Duke Calhoun.[3]

Helton was hired by USC to be quarterbacks coach in 2010 under Lane Kiffin.[5] In 2013, he was promoted to offensive coordinator.[6] Helton served as the team's interim head coach during their bowl game after their previous interim head coach, Ed Orgeron, resigned following the hiring of Steve Sarkisian. On October 11, 2015, he once again became the interim head coach of the Trojans after head coach Steve Sarkisian took a leave of absence, and was then subsequently fired.[7] On November 30, 2015, USC removed the interim tag and named Helton the permanent head coach.[8] After Helton was named the permanent head coach, USC lost its final 2 games of the 2015 season to Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game and Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl. In Helton's first full season as head coach, USC started off 1–3 with losses to Alabama, Stanford, and Utah, but then won its final 8 games of the 2016 regular season as well as the Rose Bowl against Penn State to end the season with a record of 10–3 and third place in the AP poll.

Coaching treeEdit

Assistant coaches under Clay Helton who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
USC Trojans (Pac-12 Conference) (2013)
2013 USC 1–0[lower-alpha 1] 0–0 W Las Vegas 19 19
USC Trojans (Pac-12 Conference) (2015–present)
2015 USC 5–4[lower-alpha 2] 5–2 T–1st (South) L Holiday
2016 USC 10–3 7–2 2nd (South) W Rose 5 3
2017 USC 11–3 8–1 1st (South) L Cotton 10 12
2018 USC 5–7 4–5 T–3rd (South)
2019 USC 1–0 0–0 (South)
USC: 33–17 24–10
Total: 33–17
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Klein, Gary (December 1, 2015). "The Clay Helton file: Biographical details about USC's new football coach". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Kim Helton". UAB Blazers. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Clay Helton". USC Trojans. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  4. "Clay Helton College Stats - College Football at".
  5. "USC football: Lane Kiffin confirms Clay Helton hiring during evacuation at NCAA hearing". February 18, 2010.
  6. Klein, Gary (February 23, 2013). "USC football: Lane Kiffin names Clay Helton offensive coordinator".
  7. Klein, Gary; Thiry, Lindsey (October 11, 2015). "USC places Coach Steve Sarkisian on leave; Clay Helton interim coach". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  8. "USC Official Athletic Site -".



External linksEdit

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