USC Football reportedly promote Bryan Ellis to quarterbacks coach

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Offensive assistant Bryan Ellis, who served as the interim quarterbacks coach for the Cotton Bowl, has reportedly been promoted to USC Football’s full-time quarterbacks coach.

USC Football has a replacement for departed quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton, and they didn’t need to go very far to find him.

Head coach Clay Helton has decided to promoted offensive assistant Bryan Ellis from within to fill the role, per multiple reports from FootballScoop, Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated and others.

Ellis has served as an offensive quality control assistant for two years at USC beginning in 2016, following Tyson from Western Kentucky where he was a quality control coach before being promoted to wide receivers coach for the 2015 season.

When Tyson left USC to take a post with Jeremy Pruitt at Tennessee, Ellis took over as quarterbacks coach ahead of the Cotton Bowl. At the time, Clay Helton confirmed the young interim would be considered for the permanent job, though the possibility of offensive coordinator Tee Martin moving to coach quarterbacks was floated as an option as well.

The audition for Ellis went well, apparently.

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Ellis was a quarterback at UAB, starting nine times in 2010 while throwing for 2,940 yards and 25 touchdowns. In high school, he earned Atlanta Journal-Constitution AAA State Offensive Player of the Year honors while leading Peach County High, coincidentally the Trojans, to a state championship.

The expected hire has been met with skepticism, with some questioning Ellis’ youth and inexperience while bemoaning yet another internal hire from Helton’s USC. Of the nine coaches currently on staff, all but one were promoted from within or brought in with prior connection to either USC or the head coach.

Regardless of perception, Ellis will have a tough task in 2018, coaching up a first-year starter at quarterback in his first year on the job. With Sam Darnold opting to leave early for the NFL Draft, the Trojans will be led by one of Matt Fink, Jack Sears or incoming freshman JT Daniels, none of whom have real experience at the college level, though Fink did perform mop-up duties in 2017.

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With the addition of a 10th assistant coaching slot, USC still has one spot on the coaching staff left to fill.