Just two weeks into the 2021-22 college football season, one of the most highly sought-after jobs in the country is up for grabs.
After an embarrassing 42-28 home loss to Stanford, the USC Trojans fired longtime head coach Clay Helton. Now, the program is on the hunt for its next leader — and some big-time names are being thrown into the mix.
On Tuesday evening, college football insider Joe Klatt revealed who he thinks the USC program should reach out to as their potential future head coach.
Klatt feels the Trojans should shoot high on their search, reaching out to some of the premier current and former college football coaches.
- Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley
- Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney
- Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly
- former Florida/Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer
- Ohio State head coach Ryan Day
If I was @USC_Athletics AD I would make following coaches tell me NO before moving on
– Lincoln Riley
– Dabo Swinney
– Brian Kelly
– Urban Meyer
– Ryan Day
After that I would call the following
– Mario Cristobal
– James Fanklin
– Jeff Hafley
– Eric Bieniemy
– Josh McDaniels
— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) September 14, 2021
After making these coaches say “no,” Klatt suggested a secondary group of coaches for USC to gun for.
- Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal
- Penn State head coach James Franklin
- Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley
- Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy
- New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels
While the USC football coaching gig is certainly an enticing job, most of these coaches (especially on the first list) would be more than a long shot to leave their current situations.
Riley, Swinney, Kelly and Day all have well-established programs with history of recent success, Meyer is currently notching his first NFL season with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cristobal has his Pac 12 program positioned as a top-five team in the nation.
The only name on this list that has officially been reported as a potential candidate is Bieniemy. The longtime NFL assistant, a former native of Southern California, has previously noted that the USC job is the only gig that could persuade him back into the college ranks.
As of right now, interim head coach duties fall on Donte Williams.
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