Saturday, November 27, 2021

Georgia Southern hires ex-USC coach Clay Helton as football coach

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Georgia Southern Eagles have hired Clay Helton as their new head football coach. He was fired by the USC Trojans in September.

This is a bold move for the administration. He replaces Chad Lunsford, who was also fired in September.

Clay Helton talking to former Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez before a game (Getty Images)

Kevin Whitley has been serving as the interim head coach since Lunsford was fired. Helton takes over with the 2022 season.

“I am very humbled to be named the head football coach at Georgia Southern University,” Helton said. “Thank you to President Marrero, Athletic Director Jared Benko, the search committee, and the entire Georgia Southern family for this amazing opportunity. This football program represents a tradition of excellence spread over the past 40 years but has won six national championships and three bowl games in that short amount of time. The passion and love its alumni and fans have for the University are second to none. Georgia Southern has always prided itself on the highest levels of success, and I welcome those expectations.

“We will have a staff and a team representing the toughness, discipline, and GATA mentality on which this program was founded. I cannot wait to get started to build a football program that is consistently winning championships and is the platinum standard of college football on a national scale.”

He was 46-24 as the Trojans head coach since the 2015 season. He was named the permanent head coach before the 2016 season.

In his first two seasons, he guided the Trojans to back-to-back double-digit win seasons, as he guided the team to 10 wins in 2016 and 11 wins in 2017.

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He was 21-6 in those two seasons.

However, in parts of the last four seasons, the Trojans have gone 19-14. He was fired after two games this season.

“What a great day for Eagle Nation with the announcement of Clay Helton as the new head coach of Georgia Southern football,” Director of Athletics Jared Benko said. “Clay is renowned for not only his coaching abilities but for the person that he is. He’s an elite offensive mind who has produced record-setting offenses and high NFL Draft picks everywhere he’s coached. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Clay throughout this process, and I know he’s committed like I am to the holistic development athletically, academically, and socially of all of our student-athletes. He also takes great pride in producing men of character and future leaders.

“During this interview process, Clay demonstrated a thorough understanding of what it takes to be not only to be a head coach but to win at an elite level and he is the best choice to lead our football program here at Georgia Southern.”

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Anthony Caruso IIIhttps://thecapitalsportsreport.com
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the sports journalism field since 2002 and has covered numerous high-profile events, including 10 Heisman Trophy ceremonies.
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