Throughout the 2019 season, there were rumors Clay Helton was in his final year as USC's head coach. But Wednesday afternoon, Trojans athletic director Mike Bohn put those whispers to rest by announcing Helton will return to USC next year.
Helton took over USC midway through 2015 and entered this year coming off a 5-7 campaign. A 3-3 opening to 2019 had many fans calling for Helton's job, especially with Urban Meyer on the market. The Trojans closed the year 5-1, though, to finish the regular season with an 8-4 record.
Heading into 2020, Coach Helton and I will work together to take a hard look at all aspects of the football enterprise and will make the tough decisions necessary to compete at a championship level.
— Mike Bohn (@USC_mikebohn) December 4, 2019
Helton has recruited well, pulling in three top-10 classes each of the first three years, though the 2019 class ranked No. 10 in the nation and No. 3 in the Pac-12. But on the field, Helton has struggled to turn that elite talent into results, losing at least three games in each of his four-plus seasons.
Those relative struggles have led to frequent discussion of Helton's future at USC, despite him signing an extension in 2018 that runs through 2023. Last week, a report from Maven Media said Helton was being fired, but the report was quickly refuted by multiple sources, including Maven Media itself.
Then, Wednesday, Bohn removed any uncertainty about Helton's fate.