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USC AD Mike Bohn on Firing Clay Helton: 'A Change Was Needed'

Bohn explain why the Stanford loss was the final straw.

USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn made the decision to cut ties with head coach Clay Helton following a brutal loss to the Stanford Cardinal 42-28. He appeared on Trojans LIVE to discuss the decision behind the firing, and what lies ahead for USC.

Mike Bohn on firing Clay Helton:

“You know what, I think that in the end, it's just a sense of ensuring that long term, we have the ability to build. I think we've made some nice progress in the time that Clay and I've worked together, I enjoyed working with Clay, he is an incredible person and we did so many things. And I'm proud of the fact that together, I think we didn't lose a whole lot of games. 

When you think back to going through COVID, I couldn't imagine going through COVID without Clay as a partner. But again, I think that we're committed to winning national championships and we believe that in order to do that, a change was needed.”

Mike Bohn on telling the team:

“It is always a challenging day when you impact the lives of so many, and I'm talking about our players. And first and foremost, the thing I'm most proud of is the members of the Trojan family that were so supportive of ensuring that the news was shared with our team directly from Coach Helton and I together before anybody else, period. 

And I think that demonstrates our commitment and living our value or a vision of being the most student athlete centered program in the country, and I think it's really important that our players knew that and that they didn't get it from some other source. I was really proud of those that helped us because that was something that was very, very important to us.”

Mike Bohn on expectations for Donte Williams:

“Well, they're high. They're high, and they're high, because I believe this team and this coaching staff has high expectations of each other and you're really going to enjoy Donte Williams.

Donte is a gentleman and the good news is he's got some really talented coaches in that room with him. He has a unique ability just to connect with young people. As you all know, he has served as our associate head coach, and I am really looking forward to see what he can do."

Mike Bohn on his goals for USC moving forward:

“Our university and its leadership are committed to winning national championships and restoring USC football to glory."

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“I accept the enormous responsibility I have to our current and former players and the entire Trojan Family to live up to our incredible heritage.”

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