Georgia Southern names former USC coach Clay Helton as new head coach

ByAdam Rittenberg ESPN logo
Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Georgia Southern has hired former USC coach Clay Helton as the Eagles new head coach, the school announced on Tuesday.

Helton, who was fired by the Trojans onSept. 13, replacesChad Lunsford, who was fired by the Eagles on Sept. 26, following a 1-3 start to the football season. Helton was 1-1 this season when USC fired him. He went 46-24 overall at USC, where he became permanent head coach in late 2015 after a six-year run as a Trojans assistant.

Helton, who had two years left on his USC contract and was owed more than $10 million at the time of his firing, according to sources, is expected to join the Eagles' program soon to begin recruiting and putting together his staff for the 2022 season.

Helton, 49, is the first coach to be hired in a cycle that already has featured high-profile changes at USC, LSU and TCU. He guided USC to a Pac-12 title in 2017, three division titles and a Rose Bowl championship after the 2016 season.