USC Football officially adds Bryan Ellis and Keary Colbert to coaching staff

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 1: Keary Colbert
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 1: Keary Colbert /

New quarterbacks coach Bryan Ellis and tight ends coach Keary Colbert were officially announced as assistant coach additions to the USC Football staff for 2018.

Clay Helton’s decision to promote graduate assistant coaches Bryan Ellis and Keary Colbert to full-time assistant coaches had already been reported, but USC Football made it official on Saturday.

USC Athletics announced the move on Twitter, welcoming Ellis as the new quarterbacks coach and Colbert as the tight ends and inside receivers coach.

Ellis worked as the quarterbacks coach on an interim basis for the Cotton Bowl after the departure of Tyson Helton for a job as Tennessee’s offensive coordinator. The former Western Kentucky wide receivers coach had been tutoring USC’s quarterbacks since joining the staff in 2016.

Colbert’s addition was the more recent of the two to be reported earlier this week. A former standout wide receiver at USC, he owned since broken receiving records at the university when he graduated in 2004. After a career in the NFL, Colbert entered the coaching ranks at USC in 2010 before spending time at Georgia State and Alabama before returning to the Trojans in 2016 as an offensive analyst.

More from Reign of Troy

Though initially reported as a tight ends coach, Colbert will also take on responsibilities coaching inside receivers. That will allow him to lighten the load of special teams coordinator John Baxter, who had been coaching tight ends, and offensive coordinator Tee Martin, who will only have to focus on outside pass catchers in his role as wide receiver coach.

On the one hand, the addition of Ellis and Colbert could be seen as savvy moves by Helton, who has had some success putting his faith in inexperienced, but bright coaches like defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze, who was promoted in similar fashion.

On the other hand, two more hires from within the small footprint of Helton’s support staff continues to cast doubt on whether the head coach is willing or capable of making a truly ambitious hire.

TRENDING: Tee Martin Gets Extension to Stay at USC

The critical third year of Helton’s tenure will no doubt be shaped by these new hires, whether positively or negatively.

And there is one more to go, with the final opening on the staff still needing to be filled after losing running backs coach Deland McCullough to the NFL.