USC Morning Buzz: Does Clay Helton Have A Conscience?

USC coach Clay Helton has now fired 13 assistant coaches since 2015.

Has there ever been a coach less accountable than this guy?

He can talk about faith, family and football but when does he man up and take responsibility for anything? Does his faith include having a conscience? How does he tell the team they are responsible for their actions when he never is?

Helton’s churned through 13 assistants with no end in sight. He told candidates for the defensive coordinator’s job they could fire whoever they wanted.

That must make former defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a and ex-defensive backs coach Greg Burns feel great about deciding to come to USC a year ago.

  • Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy said the fourth-and-1 play last night run agains the 49ers was taken from the 1948 Rose Bowl, when Michigan used it against USC.

28 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Does Clay Helton Have A Conscience?

  1. Sorry to say it, but his conscience seems to be closely connected to his job status and those lofty paychecks. When one’s allegiance is so powerful in such “practical” goodies in life, it’s next to impossible to commit themselves to “impractical” things such as honor, tradition, and loyalty. As the Good Book says, you can’t serve two masters.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Spot on, RT, spot on!
      I have nothing against men who openly preach about faith. I do expect them to walk the talk. Clay seems to forget this part.
      Additionally, his country boy persona has worn out. No-one cares that he is the son of an old O-Line coach, especially since he didn’t learn a thing from his daddy [e.g. hiring Neil Callaway after his best before date expired ] or that he is an old quarterback coach – who has he coached up? He ruined 5* Max Brown while Darnold succeeded in spite of him.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. RT –I think Helton DID try to hang on to his assistants as long as the matter was up to him. Obviously that matter has now, mercifully, been taken out of his hands. The bigger issue is Helton himself. He needs to take stock of what he’s done to USC’s football program. I won’t bore you with the long list of his screw ups. Any true ‘holy man’ in his shoes would admit he wasn’t up to the job and offer to step down for the good of the team …..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. RT,
        Very Beautiful.
        Once —a long, long time ago — a “friend” really screwed me over on a business deal. I told my wise old boss about it, saying “wow, Leonard sure changed over the years, didn’t he?” And my boss said something I’ll never ever forget: “What somebody does to you at the end is what they were planning to do all along.” Helton was never pure as the driven snow. The people on this site who say he’s changed are wrong —he was always prepared to lie and point fingers and misrepresent reality if he needed to….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Completely agreed, MG. It’s also my personal belief that people never change fundamentally from one time to another, but some are much more adept in hiding their inner motive so people are deceived by it.


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Scott,
    Last year you complained that GH didn’t get to hire his own assistants and had to keep Drevno and Baxter. Now you complain that the DC cleans house to bring in his own assistants. Clay is an absolute dumpster fire, everyone knows this, but this move to clean house should be applauded. The timing is unfortunate, but that is not the fault of Todd Orlando. That is all on Bohn and Clay for taking so long to get a DC hire done. I believe Todd became fully aware of how desperate our poor recruiting situation is and had to get the trigger pulled. We just had a junior day where our best invites are headed elsewhere, especially on the defensive side, something has to be done. Todd is trying to make lemonade. Maybe next year Bohn can get rid of our lemon, we all can hope.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ” Maybe next year Bohn can get rid of our lemon, we all can hope.”

      Mrs. Helton, I am guessing that Michael Guarino or another attorney on this website will offer pro bono services for the divorce.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hung in there for a long time, holding out some hope that Clay could do it. But it’s very clear, he is not able. So I divorced myself from being in his corner. Not many left in his corner, just the two now, or really one. It’s all her Folt…um .. fault.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I know you supported Helton….and you did so out of the best motives: you thought he was capable of growth and he should be given a chance to demonstrate that growth. I don’t mean to pick on you but I always thought you were being overly concerned with fairness to Helton and unfair to the interests of the team. Helton is a QB coach —and not a particularly good one [because he hasn’t kept up with the game]. I don’t want to be melodramatic but it honestly hurts me to see Slovis constantly slipping a tackle and stepping up in the pocket to get slammed by someone in a delayed blitz up the middle. Every defensive coordinator knows USC can’t defend …and knows brave Slovis is willing to take the hit to give his receivers a chance to get free. This is on Helton….the QB expert. He’s been getting people hurt since the day he took over — with his phony nice guy act, his bullshit practices and his stubborn insistence on playing favorites (‘favorites’ being another word for hard working players who lack elite abilities —like Carr or Toa — who remind him of himself). Instead of letting Bohn do his best to pick up the pieces ….Helton should just fall on his sword and (figuratively) die a noble death.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Interestingly, everyone will be better off is Helton is canned, including Helton. He just doesn’t know it. Nobody is happy doing a job that they aren’t qualified for.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Wow. Great point, 67! I mean think of it from Helton’s perspective —- no more pretending he’s become a tough task master, no more telling the players that family’s need to lie in order to protect their ‘daddy’ from critics, no more dodging and weaving with the press…..and no more happy talk b.s after devastating losses (like after Iowa –“next we go from good to great!”).

        Liked by 1 person

      5. This is it for him and he knows it. He will never get another opportunity like this again. I think that is why he hangs on so tight. In the coaching profession you aim for certain jobs, he backed into one of those jobs. Now he’s hoping against hope that he can be successful, and he won’t be able to pull it off. Now he’s totally hamstrung and everyone knows it. “Get out of the way Clay while the assistants do all of the coaching” doesn’t seem like a healthy or successful model.

        Can you imagine if they actually have a really good season? As USC fans that’s what we want, but not like this. Strange spot to be as a fan.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Actually, I think USC WILL have a good season. I base this on (1) the fact we still have very talented athletes all over the field on both sides of the ball and (2) the whole emphasis on both sides of the ball is going to be on aggression. Make that ultra- aggression…..which is gonna make us one tough bunch of MF’ers to play against.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Really? I’m with you on #1. But I’ll wait and see on #2.

        Aggression really hasn’t been our thing. But I’ll take it. From your lips to Gods ears


  3. So what happens to Orlando and Harrell when a new HC comes in, along with the assistants. Here we go again. When will USC ever get it right. Start fresh for just once with everyone and see if it works, nothing else has so far.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. That was a good stat to bring up – 13 assistant coaches fired or replaced in a 4 year span.

    I’m wondering how other coaches have fared in the same period. I don’t believe Saban or Dabo have recycled through as many assistants. Harbaugh? Urban? Pete Carroll over a four year period? Chris Petersen? Whittingham? Jim Mora?




    Liked by 2 people

    1. I did a rough count for Jim Mora (UCLA) over his six year tenure and he brought in 8 new coaches during his time in Westwood. Most of those were towards the end of his time as when his teams suffered a decline.






  5. hellton is the zenith,the ultimate example of ‘folt integrity’ just like she is the same for the trustees choosing her…what a calamity jane for 2020.


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