I often write about Clay Helton firing 14 assistant coaches since he took over at USC.
Mainly because USC would never point it out.
Sometimes, I didn’t even really like some of those former coaches for one reason or another. But one reached out to me Monday night, which surprised me because we didn’t really know each other that well.
But he had a point to make and found a way to get in touch:
“He was the biggest phony I ever worked for,” the coach said. “I want to forget the whole experience.”
The funny thing is this is not a unique take. I’ve heard repeatedly from ex-coaches that the idea Helton is Mr. Nice Guy is a USC/media creation and behind the scenes he is quite different. There are stories of Lane Kiffin treating staff members better but no one believing it because of the different public images between Helton and Kiffin.
The fans have already deserted Helton. But I hear from ex-coaches because they want it known that whatever happens, don’t fall for the Mr. Nice Guy image.