Clay Helton Deflects Question About Job Security at USC to AD Lynn Swann

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 18, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 10:  Head coach Clay Helton of the USC Trojans during a 15-14 loss to the California Golden Bears at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

USC head coach Clay Helton doesn't seem inclined to talk about whether he will return to the program next season.

Per ESPN.com's Kyle Bonagura, Helton deflected a question about coming back in 2019 following the Trojans' 34-27 loss against UCLA on Saturday.

"That's a great question for (USC athletic director Lynn) Swann, and out of honor and respect to him, I'll let you ask him that," Helton said.

Despite not wanting to talk about his job status, Helton did interact with Swann following the Trojans' loss.

"He just hugged my neck in there and said, 'Coach, I'll see you Monday,'" Helton said.

Helton's seat appears to be getting so hot it's impossible to sit on it. The 46-year-old's job status has been the source of speculation throughout the season.

"I think it is important and smart to be patient with coaches," Barton Simmons of 247Sports said on Nov. 11. "There are times to be patient. If you're USC and you're going 6-6, I just don't see how that's excusable. They just flat out look kind of inept. They just can't figure out how to get out of their own way. They're not losing to good teams. They're losing to average teams."

USC's loss to UCLA dropped its record to 5-6 and needing a victory over undefeated Notre Dame on Nov. 24 to become bowl eligible.

Helton has been USC head coach since 2015 when he took over for Steve Sarkisian midway through the year. He went a combined 21-6 in 2016-17 and led the Trojans to their first Rose Bowl win in eight years during the 2016 season.

USC signed Helton to a contract extension in February that runs through the 2023 season.