USC head coach Clay Helton was fired following an absolute smackdown by the Stanford Cardinal 42-28 on Saturday night. Following this game, USC athletic director Mike Bohn made the decision to relieve Helton of head coaching duties, and begin a national search for a new leader.
Stanford head coach David Shaw went on the record Tuesday, following a win over the Trojans, and made it known that he still has the upmost respect for Helton.
“Mike Bohn, since he has been there, has done a great job. Completely understand he's got to do what he feels is best for the short- and long-term success of the USC football program. Have no issues with that. I, as a coach's kid — much like Clay Helton is — never celebrate someone being relieved of their duties. I don't think that's right. I think it's ridiculous, a lot of the things that you hear around college football on this subject. I think Clay Helton deserves a lot of respect," Shaw said.
“For Clay last year to go 5-0 in the season, get to the Pac-12 championship game — by the way, his third Pac-12 championship game in six years. No one else in the South in the entire tenure or life of the Pac-12 has gone to more than two, but Clay took USC to three Pac-12 championships, a Rose Bowl and operated the program, I thought, with a lot of class and respect from our fellow coaches. So want to make sure that that's understood there — that Clay has had to deal with a lot of things the last three years that most people don't have to.”
Shaw continued by speaking directly to USC fans who vocalized issues losing to the Stanford Cardinal.
“For those that have an issue with losing to Stanford, we've been good for 10 years. They're living in the past, where USC can't lose to Stanford. So just want to make sure that I got a chance to say that. I have love and respect for Clay and his family. He has done an outstanding job down there. I know they'll find the next head coach there. But Clay has a lot of respect in our coaching profession for how he has handled himself over the many years."
During Clay Helton's time at USC he won three Pac-12 South division titles and one conference championship. He finished with an overall record of 46-24.
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