Southern California football head coach Clay Helton has been fired, athletic director Mike Bohn announced Monday. The decision comes two days after the Trojans, who began the season with conference-title aspirations, were embarrassed in a 42-28 home defeat to Stanford. Helton was under contract through the 2023 season. His buyout is in the $12 million range, sources told ESPN. Donte Williams will serve as the interim head coach. Williams joined the USC staff in 2020 as the cornerbacks coach and defensive pass game coordinator and was elevated to associate head coach after last season. A Los Angeles-area native, Williams becomes the first Black head coach in USC football history. In a tweeted statement, Helton called coaching USC “the opportunity of a lifetime,” thanking the school, players and fans. Helton had been with the program since 2010, when he was hired to be the quarterbacks coach on Lane Kiffin’s initial staff. He served as the offensive coordinator under both Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian before being hired as the head coach by then-AD Pat Haden in 2015. Including two stints as the interim head coach, Helton went 46-24 as the Trojans’ coach, including a Rose Bowl win to cap the 2016 season. USC went 1-1 under Helton this season.