LOS ANGELES--Clay Helton, an assistant the past 10 seasons at Memphis who was the Tigers' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach the last 3 years, has been named an assistant coach at USC, new Trojan head coach Lane Kiffin announced today.
Helton, 37, began his 10-year (2000-09) Memphis career as the running backs coach for 3 seasons, then coached the Tigers' receivers for the next 4 seasons before becoming the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Among the Tigers' running backs he tutored was school rushing/scoring/all-purpose running recordholder DeAngelo Williams, who went on to finish seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2005 and be an NFL first round selection.
As the receivers coach, he produced a pair of Conference USA All-Freshman picks in Maurice Jones (2005) and Duke Calhoun (2006), as well as the school's No. 4 all-time receptions leader in Ryan Scott. In 2003, Memphis set school season records for receptions and receiving yardage.
As the Tigers' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the 2007 and 2008 offenses were among the top 6 in school history in total yards and points. Both squads were ranked in the top 26 nationally in total offense. Quarterback Martin Hankins became Memphis' No. 2 career passer and set single season records for completions, passing yards and touchdown passes in 2007. In 2009, Curtis Steele had his second consecutive season with 1,000 rushing yards, Calhoun became the school's all-time leading receiver and Carlos Singleton set the career mark for receiving touchdowns.
Memphis played in 5 bowls during Helton's time: the 2003 and 2007 New Orleans Bowls, 2004 GMAC Bowl, 2005 Motor City Bowl and 2008 St. Petersburg Bowl.
Helton was hired as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arkansas State after the 2009 season, but was there just 2 months before coming to USC.
Before Memphis, he was the running backs coach at Houston, his alma mater, for 3 seasons (1997-99), working under his father, head coach Kim Helton.
He began his coaching career at Duke, serving as a graduate assistant in 1995 and then the running backs coach in 1996.
He played quarterback at Houston in 1993 and 1994, playing for his father both seasons and captaining the Cougars as a 1994 senior. In 1993, he completed 1-of-3 passes in late duty in Houston's 49-7 loss to USC in the Coliseum.
He spent 1991 and 1992 at Auburn, where he earned 1992 SEC All-Academic honors.
He earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics and interdisciplinary science from Houston in 1994.
He was born on June 24, 1972. He and his wife, Angela, has 3 children: sons Reid and Turner and daughter Aubrey. Besides being Houston's head coach from 1993 to 1999, his father, Kim, was an assistant in college (Florida, Miami and currently the offensive coordinator at Alabama Birmingham), the NFL (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Oilers, Los Angeles Raiders, Washington Redskins) and the CFL (Toronto Argonauts) following his playing career at Florida. His brother, Tyson, is the quarterbacks coach at Alabama Birmingham after assistant coaching stops at Memphis and Hawaii and playing at Houston.
Kiffin also announced that assistant coaches Jethro Franklin and Brennan Carroll were not retained.
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