James Franklin, Luke Fickell deflect USC questions as coach search rumors begin

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The Athletic 14 September, 2021 - 01:29pm 17 views

Who is Donte Williams?

Cornerbacks coach and associate head coach Donte Williams will serve the interim head football coach for the remainder of the 2021 season. Williams becomes the first African American head coach to take on this role in USC football history. CalBearsMavenDonte Williams Named 'Legitimate Candidate' for USC Head Coach Vacancy

Who is the new USC football coach?

LOS ANGELES - USC has named Donte Williams the Trojans' interim head football coach Monday. Williams' promotion will make him USC's first Black head football coach. The announcement comes moments after USC fired Clay Helton. Helton's firing came just hours after the Trojans' humiliating 42-28 home loss to Stanford. FOX 11 Los AngelesDonte Williams: What we know about USC's interim head football coach

Why did USC coach get fired?

By Jonathan Lloyd and Michael Duarte • Published September 13, 2021 • Updated on September 13, 2021 at 7:32 pm. USC has fired football coach Clay Helton after the Trojans suffered an upset loss at home Saturday to Stanford. NBC Southern CaliforniaUSC Fires Football Coach Clay Helton Two Games Into His Seventh Season

Did Clay Helton get fired?

USC on Monday announced the firing of head coach Clay Helton, two days after the 14th-ranked Trojans' 42-28 loss to unranked Stanford. Sporting NewsWhy did USC fire Clay Helton? Loss to Stanford was final straw in disappointing tenure

Less than 24 hours after USC parted ways with head coach Clay Helton, rumored candidates to replace Helton have started to push back on questions about their interest in the role.

Penn State coach James Franklin, when asked Tuesday about the USC speculation, said that he will address the rumors with the team's leadership council because he "can't stand any form of distraction." The No. 10 Nittany Lions host No. 22 Auburn on Saturday.

"I’ll discuss this today with the leadership council so we can make sure that all of our energy is on our preparation for Auburn and that’s how we’ll handle it," he said.

At Cincinnati, head coach Luke Fickell was more emphatic about his stance on the USC rumors saying, "I don't talk to anybody — I barely talk to my own family during the season. So I wouldn't ever talk about (the USC head coaching job), nor would I even answer a phone call or anything like that. I know nothing, nor does it make me have any interest.

"It's not a big deal. It's nothing but distractions if people allow it to be, and for us it can't be."

Both Franklin and Fickell were among a handful of potential USC coaching candidates mentioned by The Athletic's senior writer Bruce Feldman on Monday in his assessment of the upcoming search.

The next USC head coach could be ... Mario Cristobal? Luke Fickell? Tony Elliott?

Helton can honestly say he had more success than any USC coach since Pete Carroll, but his failures festered and became hard to ignore.

Clay Helton lasted as long as he did for being a nice guy ... and because of a dysfunctional USC athletic department.

The next USC head coach could be ... Mario Cristobal? Luke Fickell? Tony Elliott?

Helton can honestly say he had more success than any USC coach since Pete Carroll, but his failures festered and became hard to ignore.

Clay Helton lasted as long as he did for being a nice guy ... and because of a dysfunctional USC athletic department.

Read full article at The Athletic

Paul Finebaum’s best replacements for Clay Helton at USC | KJM

ESPN College Football 14 September, 2021 - 10:40pm

Trojans Live: John Jackson Jr. (9/13/21)

USCAthletics 14 September, 2021 - 10:40pm

USC, seeking 'change in leadership,' fires Helton

ESPN 13 September, 2021 - 04:23pm

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Southern California football head coach Clay Helton has been fired, athletic director Mike Bohn announced Monday.

The decision comes two days after the Trojans, who began the season with conference-title aspirations, were embarrassed in a 42-28 home defeat to Stanford.

"As I committed to upon my arrival at USC, during the past two off-seasons we provided every resource necessary for our football program to compete for championships," Bohn said in a statement announcing the dismissal. "The added resources carried significantly increased expectations for our team's performance, and it is already evident that, despite the enhancements, those expectations would not be met without a change in leadership."

Helton was under contract through the 2023 season. His buyout is in the $12 million range, sources told ESPN's Chris Low.

Donte Williams will serve as the interim head coach. Williams joined the USC staff in 2020 as the cornerbacks coach and defensive pass game coordinator and was elevated to associate head coach after last season. A Los Angeles-area native, Williams becomes the first Black head coach in USC football history.

In a tweeted statement, Helton called coaching USC "the opportunity of a lifetime," thanking the school, players and fans.

"To our players, both past and present, I am forever indebted to you for what you have given me," Helton, 49, said in part. "I am so appreciative for all of the hard work that our current staff and student-athletes have put into preparing for this season, and while it will be hard to not be in the fight with you, I am confident that great things lie ahead."

Williams, 39, said he didn't find out about the administration's plans until moments before Helton and Bohn broke the news jointly to the players.

"We have a lot of games left, but the season has started," Williams said. "It's hard to make, I guess, huge changes right now, so my biggest thing is about enhancing everything we do.

"Everyone in this organization needs to do something a little bit [more] than what they were doing before, including myself.''

Helton had been with the program since 2010, when he was hired to be the quarterbacks coach on Lane Kiffin's initial staff. He served as the offensive coordinator under both Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian before being hired as the head coach by then-AD Pat Haden in 2015.

Including two stints as the interim head coach, Helton went 46-24 as the Trojans' coach, including a Rose Bowl win to cap the 2016 season. USC went 1-1 under Helton this season.

"I want to be exceptionally clear: our university and its leadership are committed to winning national championships and restoring USC football to glory," Bohn said. "This decision represents our next step toward that goal in what has been a thoughtful and strategic process to build a comprehensive football organization equivalent to the premier programs in the modern landscape."

A national search for Helton's replacement will take place over the next several months, Bohn said.

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