February 1, 2023


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

USC’s Donte Williams is promoted to associate head coach

When Donte Williams was hired away from Oregon last January, his arrival as USC’s cornerbacks coach was hailed as a huge victory for a staff that struggled on the recruiting trail.

A year later, a retooled operation has the Trojans competing again for top talent, and Williams has a new title to show for it, reflective of how instrumental USC sees him to its success.

Williams was promoted to associate head coach, USC announced on Thursday after a season in which the program surged 50 spots up the national recruiting rankings and its pass defense improved significantly.

“This promotion reflects the immediate impact that Donte has made and the respect he has earned since joining our program,” USC coach Clay Helton said in a statement. “We have seen that impact both with the improved performance of the players he has coached and in his recruiting accomplishments.”

The promotion suggests that other suitors may have been interested in Williams, who currently ranks second among Pac-12 recruiters, according to 247Sports. Seven of USC’s 12 four-star signees in the 2021 class were credited to Williams.

His work as USC’s cornerbacks coach hasn’t received the same plaudits, but the Trojans took a major leap forward in that regard in 2020. USC allowed just 216 passing yards per game this past season, improving from 96th nationally in yards allowed per game to 43rd.

While Williams will return in 2021, the fate of the rest of USC’s staff remains up in the air. No staff changes have been announced following a season in which the Trojans (5-1) fell just short of a Pac-12 title. But no assurances, outside of Williams’ promotion, have been publicly offered either.