LOS ANGELES — Tyson Helton, USC’s passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, will not coach in the Cotton Bowl against Ohio State, a departure that forces the Trojans to alter their coaching staff less than three weeks before the Dec. 29 game.
Helton has left to join Tennessee’s coaching staff under newly hired head coach Jeremy Pruitt, who was previously the Alabama defensive coordinator.
“I’m really proud of what Tyson’s accomplished here, helping us win a Rose Bowl, as well as a Pac-12 championship, and wish nothing but the best,” USC coach Clay Helton said of his younger brother. “Really appreciate the job he did.”
ESPN reported last week that Tyson Helton would become the Volunteers’ offensive coordinator.
Tennessee has not formally announced the hiring.
Tyson Helton had previously been the offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky before joining his brother’s staff for his first full season at USC in 2016.
“We have some of the best coaches in the country, and it does not surprise me to see our coaches get job offers, whether it’s coordinator or head coaching opportunities from across the country,” Clay Helton said. “We have great coaches and those things come up. I’m proud for him and thankful for the job he’s done.”
Bryan Ellis, an offensive administrative assistant, has been promoted to coach quarterbacks for the Cotton Bowl, leaving the staff with the allotted nine full-time assistant coaches. Ellis was previously an assistant at Western Kentucky and also played quarterback at University of Alabama-Birmingham, then coached by Neil Callaway, the Trojans’ offensive line coach.
USC began bowl practices without Tyson Helton this week.
“It was obviously a weird feel,” Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold said. “We’re going to miss him, but at the same time, we just got to move on and make the most of the situation.”
Tyson Helton spoke by phone with Darnold and the Trojans’ quarterbacks last week before his…