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Kalani Sitake, Kyle Whittingham Among Potential USC Coaching Candidates

Head coach Kyle Whittingham of the Utah Utes and head coach Kalani Sitake of the Brigham Young Cougars meet prior to their game at LaVell Edwards Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – University of Southern California athletics director Mike Bohn announced that head coach Clay Helton has been released from his contract effective immediately.

“This afternoon I informed Clay Helton of my decision to make a change in the leadership of our football program,” Bohn stated in a press release.

The Helton era at USC has come to an end with all of the attention being solely placed on who will replace him. The list of candidates is long, as expected anytime the USC head coaching position becomes available. Moreover, could a pair of local coaches be linked with a move to Los Angeles?

Local Interest

Kalani Sitake is the most intriguing prospect out of the state of Utah who could potentially take over the reins at USC. What Sitake has been able to do at BYU has been nothing short of remarkable. During a pandemic broken 2020 season, BYU notched an 11-1 record led by the eventual number two overall pick Zach Wilson at quarterback.

Sitake is also highly regarded in and around Los Angeles. He has long recruited the area and is well known by local high school coaches and prospects throughout the proven college football recruiting battlegrounds.

In 2015, Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham was linked to the then-vacant USC head coaching job. Whittingham refused to discuss the potential of him departing Utah for USC in the media and much is unknown as it relates to how serious USC’s interest was.

Nonetheless, Whittingham has only added to his coaching credentials and will likely be discussed as a potential candidate. With Whittingham not getting any younger, the soon-to-be 62-year-old may be intrigued by a coaching move in an attempt to secure college football dominance.

Other Candidates

Other notable candidates include Penn State coach James Franklin, P.J. Fleck from the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Oregon’s Mario Cristobal, Rutgers Greg Schiano, Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliot.

Free-agent coaches Chris Peterson who most recently coached Washington and former Oklahoma legend Bob Stoops are also names that have been linked to the vacancy.

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