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Monday, September 20, 2021

USC interim coach Williams out to turn connections into wins

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Relationships have been Donte Williams’ stock in trade, his ability to connect with recruits and their families making him one of the most sought-after assistant coaches in the Pac-12.

After the firing of coach Clay Helton on Monday, Williams will try to use those same bonds to salvage Southern California’s season, and perhaps leave athletic director Mike Bohn with a difficult decision to make as the West Coast’s historic college football power searches for a new leader.

Williams oversaw his first practices Tuesday and Wednesday after being named interim coach for the Trojans (1-1, 0-1 Pac-12), a title he only found out about minutes before Bohn and Helton informed players a change would be made. Bohn said the 39-year-old Williams got the role so offensive coordinator Graham Harrell and defensive coordinator Todd Orlando can continue focusing on game planning and calling plays.

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