Former USC linebacker Clay Matthews says he wished the Trojans would have waited to hire a coach and looked at new San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly for the job.
USC lost 23–21 in the Holiday Bowl but did make the Pac-12 championship game after beating UCLA 40–21 on Nov. 28 to secure a spot. After that win, USC announced the hiring of interim coach Clay Helton as head coach. Helton went 5–4 at the helm this season after replacing Steve Sarkisian as head coach.
At the time of Helton's hiring, Kelly still head coach of the Eagles but was rumored to have interest in the job. The Eagles ultimately fired Kelly on Dec. 29. But Kelly, who coached Oregon from 2009–2012 and went 46–7 in four seasons, did not return to college football. He eventually took the 49ers job and remained in the NFL ranks.