Helton in 2013
|Annual salary||$3.8 million|
June 24, 1972 |
|Alma mater||University of Houston, 1994|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|2013||USC (OC/QB/interim HC)|
|2015||USC (OC/QB/interim HC/HC)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|1 Pac-12 South Division (2015)|
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. 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. Clay Helton attended Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas and graduated in 1990.
College playing career
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. Helton was a backup quarterback at both Auburn and Houston and graduated from Houston in 1994 with a degree in mathematics and interdisciplinary science. At Houston, Helton completed 47 of 87 passes for 420 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions and played 16 games.
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.
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.
Helton was hired by USC to be quarterbacks coach in 2010 under Lane Kiffin. In 2013, he was promoted to offensive coordinator. Helton served as the team's interim head coach during their bowl game after their previous interim head coach, Ed Orgeron, quit. 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. On November 30, 2015, USC removed the interim tag and named Helton the permanent head coach. 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.
Assistant coaches under Clay Helton who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:
Head coaching record
|USC Trojans (Pac-12 Conference) (2013)|
|2013||USC||1–0[a]||0–0||W Las Vegas||19||19|
|USC Trojans (Pac-12 Conference) (2015–present)|
|2015||USC||5–4[b]||5–1||T–1st (South)||L Holiday|
|2016||USC||10–3||7–2||2nd (South)||W Rose†||5||3|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
- Lane Kiffin was the head coach for the first five games of the season. Interim head coach Ed Orgeron coached the next eight games, but resigned after Steve Sarkisian was hired to become head coach of USC beginning in 2014. Helton was named interim head coach and coached USC in the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl.
- Steve Sarkisian was the head coach for the first five games of the season. On October 11, 2015, Helton was named interim head coach after Sarkisian took an indefinite leave of absence and was fired a day later. On November 30, 2015, USC removed the interim tag and promoted Helton to permanent head coach.
- Klein, Gary (December 1, 2015). "The Clay Helton file: Biographical details about USC's new football coach". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
- "Kim Helton". UAB Blazers. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
- "Clay Helton". USC Trojans. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
- "Clay Helton College Stats - College Football at Sports-Reference.com". College Football at Sports-Reference.com.
- "USC football: Lane Kiffin confirms Clay Helton hiring during evacuation at NCAA hearing". 18 February 2010.
- Klein, Gary (23 February 2013). "USC football: Lane Kiffin names Clay Helton offensive coordinator" – via LA Times.
- 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.
- "USC Official Athletic Site - USCTrojans.com". www.usctrojans.com.