No. 1 USC – Clay Helton
Head coaching record
2017 AP Pac-12 Coach of the Year
2016 and 2017 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award finalist
Helton got his start at USC in 2010. From there and for the next five seasons he spent his time mainly as a quarterbacks coach and as the offensive coordinator. Before moving into the head coaching position for his first complete season in 2016, Helton earned the trust of the Trojan program.
Through some of the recent coaching hardships for USC, Helton was the crutch. The Trojans had enough of Lane Kiffin after a 3-2 start in 2013 and fired their head coach before we ever got to October. Ed Orgeron then took over as the interim head coach starting out 1-1 after his first two games. That first loss came in a 14-10 victory for Notre Dame. Ultimately Orgeron saved USC’s season.
Leading USC to a 9-4 regular season record, Orgeron earned an invitation to the Las Vegas Bowl. But, Orgeron decided that he would leave before the bowl game ever took place, thus opening the opportunity for Helton.
In his third overall season with the Trojans, Helton stepped in as the interim head coach for the bowl game. USC would defeat Fresno State 45-20.
The 2015 season brought the Steve Sarkisian debacle and once again an interim head coaching position for Helton. For the last two games of the season, Helton ditched the interim label and earned his first head coaching position.
Since taking over, Helton has found success. With a 27-10 overall head coaching record, he was the first USC head coach to have ten-win seasons in his first two full seasons.
Last season he led USC to an 11-3 record and finished 12th in the final AP poll. Helton will have his Trojans ready to go in 2018.