Top Candidates For The USC Head Coaching Job
Many names are swirling, here are my top picks to take over the Trojans.
USC is in shambled right now. They’re 1-1 with a win over a poor San Jose State team and a 42-28 loss to Stanford. Following the loss, the Trojans gassed head coach Clay Helton after eleven years with the team, six as head coach.
In his time as head coach, he went 46-24 with a 2-3 record in bowl games.
Lots of names have swirled as of late as to who will get the job, some names make absolutely zero sense, others I can see. Here are three guys that I think have the best shot of coaching the Trojans next fall.
First candidate is Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Bieniemy currently coaches the NFLs top rated offense with an elite quarterback and talented wideouts. The Colorado alum also has college coaching experience, all of which were in the PAC 10/ PAC 12.
After his playing days, Bieniemy returned to Boulder and coached the running backs at Colorado from 2001 to 2002. He then went onto coach the running backs at UCLA from 2003 to 2005 and after five years with the Vikings, he returned to Colorado as the offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2012.
Bieniemy was a highly coveted coach in the offseason for many teams with a head coaching vacancy. While he was close to signing as the Texans head coach, he opted to stay in Kansas City.
I feel like Bieniemy would be able to change the culture at USC, recruit like a mad man, and take their offense to the next level. Don’t be surprised to see Bieniemy on the Trojans sideline next fall in maroon and gold.
The next candidate that I think has a good shot of getting the USC job is the current Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley. Hafley is a young head coach, 42, and has coaching experience at the division three, division one, and NFL level.
Hafley took over the Boston College Eagles after they let go of Steve Addazio and has already turned them from the laughing stocks of the ACC to a fringe top twenty five program.
The Montvale native is a defensive minded coach. He served as the defensive coordinator for the 2019 Ohio State Buckeyes while also coaching defensive backs for the 49ers, Browns, Buccaneers, Rutgers, and Pittsburgh.
Another aspect that makes Hafley a favorite for this job is that coaching at a private school is a bit different than a public one. Hafley is already doing this at BC so it won’t affect him if USC hires him.
Hafley has awesome energy and could be a great hire for the Trojans. An infusion of youth could be a great thing for USC and help them contend in the PAC 12.
The third and final candidate that I think could land the USC job is sort of a surprise. I think that the Trojans will offer Penn State head coach James Franklin the position and he’ll leave the BIG Ten for the PAC 12.
Why you may ask. Well, Penn State wasn’t great last season, but Franklin has proved that he can change the culture and create winning programs at places there shouldn’t be a winning program.
Franklin brought a low talent Vanderbilt team to 9-4 records in 2012 and 2013 with two bowl wins.
He helped change the image of Penn State after the Sandusky situation and has gone 3-3 in bowl games with the Nittany Lions. He has gone 62-28 since stepping on campus at State College. If anyone is going to turn the Trojans around, it’d be Franklin.
I do believe that a small part of the reason that Franklin will leave Penn State is because he is 1-6 against Ohio State and the Buckeyes have a strong hold on the BIG Ten. The PAC 12 is wide open. Franklin could get to L.A. and immediately make them PAC 12 Champions.
If USC is smart then they will toss a lot of money at Franklin to have him wear the headset on the sideline next season.