Any speculation that Eagles coach Chip Kelly — or any other NFL coach — could leave to coach USC can end. The Trojans have announced that Clay Helton, their interim head coach for most this season, will lose the interim tag and become the permanent head coach going forward.
When USC fired Steve Sarkisian this year, there was widespread speculation that Kelly could be interested in the job. That speculation only intensified as the Eagles’ season collapsed.
But USC Athletic Director Pat Haden announced today that Helton will keep the job. Helton has done solid work this season, leading the Trojans to a 5-2 record in the seven games since he took over. Helton will coach USC against Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Saturday.
Haden wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t at least put out feelers to Kelly (and possibly to NFL coaches with USC ties, like Jeff Fisher and Jack Del Rio) to gauge his interest. But there apparently wasn’t enough mutual interest for a job to get done.
Whether Kelly leaves Philadelphia and returns to college remains to be seen, but he won’t be leaving for USC.