Jack Del Rio: Interested in USC head coach job, but not looking to supplant Clay Helton

Harry How/Getty Images
Harry How/Getty Images /

Former Trojan All-American and NFL head coach Jack Del Rio expressed interest in the USC job, but not without throwing support behind Clay Helton.

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Jack Del Rio wants the USC football job. In the way he thinks any football coach would want the USC football job.

He made that clear on Tuesday during an appearance on the Will Cain Show on ESPN Radio, when he was asked specifically about throwing his hat in the ring for the Trojans’ job.

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“I love USC. I think it’s one of the top tier programs in the country. And I’m fully supportive of Coach Helton,” Del Rio said. “I actually went out to camp this year and spent a few days with he and his staff. So I’m supporting him. I’m not undermining him. I’m not trying to get his job. He’s got a job. And by the way they’re 2-0 and they beat the heck out of Stanford. So I’m supporting him.”

After that lengthy caveat, Del Rio admitted that he would take the USC job if the opportunity presented itself.

“If and when there ever was anything, yeah I would be interested because it’s one of the top jobs in the country and I’m a coach, that’s what I do,” said Del Rio. “But I’m not looking to supplant anybody.”

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This appears to be a case of a media figure perhaps being too honest. Del Rio, now an NFL analyst for ESPN, could have left it simple, declared his love for USC and his support of Clay Helton.

But he could hardly be blamed for wanting to be the head coach at USC any more than a high school prospect could be blamed for wanting a scholarship offer from the Trojans.

There are few other programs with the prestige or recruiting base afforded to USC. And that’s before considering Del Rio’s status as an alum.

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The issue is that he said the obvious out loud.

Over the coming months, there will be plenty of speculation over Clay Helton’s job status, especially as the Trojans search for and install a new athletic director. Get used to hearing speculation over Del Rio, Urban Meyer and others.

But like Del Rio also said, maybe the thing to focus on right now is USC’s 2-0 record. The cart should follow the horse.