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Friday January 21st, 2022 9:15PM

AP source: Ga Southern nearing deal to hire Helton as coach

By The Associated Press

Georgia Southern is working to finalize a deal with former Southern California coach Clay Helton to become the Eagles’ new head coach.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Helton and the school were closing in on an agreement that could be done by the end of the day. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school was not yet ready to make an official announcement. On3.com first reported that Georgia Southern was interested in hiring Helton.

Helton was the first coach fired this season, two games into his eighth season at USC. Helton, 49, was 46-24 with the Trojans, including a Rose Bowl victory after the 2016 season.

Georgia Southern fired coach Chad Lunsford after a 1-3 start to the season. The Eagles (2-6, 1-4 Sun Belt) are last in the Sun Belt's East Division heading into Saturday's game against No. 21 Coastal Carolina.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com

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