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Did you know?

By on December 6th, 2015 in Member Post, News 5 Comments »
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Clay Helton is the new Head Coach for the University of Southern California. (photo:USA TODAY)

Don’t know if you are paying attention, but there are Auburn ties in the PAC-12!

Recently the University of Southern California and Athletic Director Pay Haden named the interim head coach Clay Helton as the new head coach of the Trojans football team. 

So what are his ties to Auburn University? 

Well, did you know that he was recruited by Auburn and played for Pat Dye until 1992? In 1990 he was redshirted. And from 1991 to 1992 he was the backup quarterback to Stan White. In 1992 he received SEC All-Academic honors. He transferred at the end of the 1992 season to University of Houston where he played for his Dad, Kim Helton, who was the head coach.

Kim Helton had his own ties with the State of Alabama. His career spanned college, Canadian Football League, and the NFL. His Alabama ties are that he served as the offensive coordinator at UAB starting in 2007 until 2011 when Neil Callaway’s staff was fired. 

Clay has a great football pedigree. He began his career at Duke where he was a graduate assistant in 1995. He was named as a running backs coach in 1996. He served as a running backs coach under his Dad, Kim Helton until 1999. He was hired by University of Memphis in 2000 and stayed as the running backs coach until 2002.  In 2003 he was moved to wide receiver coach where he stayed until 2006.  And in 2007 he was named offensive coordinator where he stayed until 2009. He was hired in 2010 to be the Arkansas State offensive coordinator, but he was there only two months until he was hired by USC to be the quarterbacks coach. In 2013 he was named the interim head coach after the previous “interim”, Ed Orgeron, quit. He also became the offensive coordinator.

 I reported at the beginning of the 2015 season that new USC head coach Steve Sarkisian was having difficulties adapting to the job. Turns out he was also dealing with family problems. It appears a divorce, the stress of the job, and battling alcoholism was too much. In October 2015 he was fired.  

In 2015, USC, which had lost the third game of the season to Stanford, continued to fight. Sarkisian was fired shortly after the second loss which was to Washington (oh, the irony). It was just the fifth game of the season. Helton was again named the interim head coach. Helton and the Trojan’s fought bravely but lost the next game to Notre Dame. But then they put together a dramatic comeback and salvaged the season, losing only to Oregon to finish the season 8 – 4. This bought them a ticket to the PAC-12 championship game where they lost to Stanford for a second time.

Helton is known as a players’ coach.  Speaking as an Auburn alum, I wish nothing but the best for Helton. Who knows… maybe someday soon… “Mama” will be calling him home?

 War Eagle!

5 Comments

  1. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Cool. Thanks for posting.

  2. AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

    Mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, I’m glad for Clay and wish him well. On the other, I can’t pull for USC.

  3. milehighmike says:

    I would love for Gus to turn this thing around but it appears he is playing Russian Roulette with all but one chamber loaded. If Malzahn is given the boot maybe this guy would be a viable option, .

  4. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    That makes two of us. I can never pull for anyone other than Auburn. Hardwired that way.

    Yet, this man has AU blood.

    Honestly, I want Gus Malzahn to be successful. I want any coach that comes to Auburn to be successful. However its amazing to me how many get in over their head and can’t do what they say they’re going to do. It’s a multi million dollar business. You are either or able to do what you say or not.

    WDE

  5. benjig3 says:

    Can this guy call running plays when we’re averaging 8 yards a carry. Will this guy leave a guy in the game that’s averaging 8 yards a carry? If so, hire him!! Nice post. I wasn’t aware of him or his ties to AU. I’m not serious about hiring him because I really like Gus and feel he’s earned another year but that’s all if he’s unable to turn it around. I hate to say it but Gus seems to be a little out of touch with reality lately. Just look at some of his comments this year. Bizarre!

    War Eagle for life!!