USC Finally Announces Hiring Of Bryan Ellis And Keary Colbert

This is not new news but USC officially announced that Bryan Ellis (quarterbacks) and Keary Colbert (tight ends) are the new additions to the coaching staff. So USC’s filled two openings by promoting from within. I doubt anyone else was even interviewed.

I’ve included the full press release after the jump:


LOS ANGELES–Bryan Ellis and Keary Colbert have been elevated to full-time assistant football coaches at USC, Trojan head coach Clay Helton announced today.

Ellis, one of the top quarterbacks in Alabama-Birmingham history, will be USC’s quarterbacks coach.  Former standout USC and NFL wide receiver Colbert will handle Troy’s tight ends and inside receivers, filling a 10th fulltime assistant spot created by a recent NCAA ruling.  Both had served as Trojan offensive quality control assistants before being promoted.

Helton said in the near future he will name a new running backs coach for the position recently vacated by Deland McCullough, who moved to the NFL.

“We are very excited to promote Bryan Ellis and Keary Colbert,” said Helton.  “I have been extremely impressed with both individuals over their time here at USC.  Their knowledge of the game, ability to develop relationships with our current players and talent to recruit top athletes will be a tremendous asset to our program.  These are two young stars in our profession and we are proud that they are part of the Trojan Family.”

Ellis, 29, handled the quarterbacks coach duties for Pac-12 champion USC in the 2017 Cotton Bowl after Tyson Helton left Troy in early December.  Prior to that, Ellis served as USC’s offensive quality control assistant in 2017, working with the quarterbacks.  Quarterback Sam Darnold set USC’s season passing yardage and total offense yardage records in 2017.

Ellis came to USC after helping coach Western Kentucky’s prolific offenses for 3 seasons (2014-16).  He was an offensive quality control coach in his first year at Western Kentucky in 2014, assisting quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton as WKU played in the Bahamas Bowl.  Brandon Doughty led the nation in passing yards (4,380) and touchdowns (49) in 2014 while winning the Sammy Baugh Award as the nation’s top quarterback.  Ellis then was WKU’s running backs coach in 2015 (the team played in the Miami Beach Bowl), as Anthony Wales ran for 1,086 yards and D’Andre Ferby made the Conference USA All-Freshman team.  In 2016, Ellis was the Hilltoppers’ wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator, as Taywan Taylor had 98 catches for 1,730 yards with 17 TDs and Nicholas Norris added 76 receptions for 1,318 yards with 14 TDs (the Hilltoppers threw for 4,715 yards and 42 scores).  Due to a coaching change, Ellis served as WKU’s offensive coordinator in the 2016 Boca Raton Bowl and helped the Hilltoppers roll up 51 points and 598 total yards in a victory over Memphis.

Before that, Ellis was an offensive graduate assistant at Alabama-Birmingham, his alma mater, for 2 seasons (2012-13).

He had an injury-plagued career as a quarterback at Alabama-Birmingham (2007-11), playing for head coach Neil Callaway (currently USC’s offensive line coach).  After redshirting in 2007 and not seeing action in 2008 due to a shoulder injury, he saw brief action in 1 game as a 2009 sophomore.  He then started the final 9 games of his 2010 junior season, completing 231-of-411 passes (56.2%) for 2,940 yards and 25 TDs.  That season when he ranked 18th nationally in passing yards (267.3) and made All-Conference USA honorable mention, he threw for 350-plus yards 4 times and had 3-plus TD passes in 6 games.  He appeared in only 4 early-season games as a senior in 2011 due to a concussion and then a season-ending wrist injury, throwing for 743 yards and 2 TDs on 67-of-127 passing (52.8%).  He finished his UAB career in the school’s all-time Top 5 in passing yards (3,697) and TD passes (27).

Ellis earned his bachelor’s degree in history for Alabama-Birmingham in 2011.

He spent his 2006 senior year of high school at Peach County High in Fort Valley (Ga.), where he was the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s AAA State Offensive Player of the Year while leading his team to the Class AAA state championship.  Before that, he played at Tiftarea Academy in Chula (Ga.).

Ellis was born on Sept. 13, 1988.  He is married and his wife’s name is Janie.

Colbert, 35, spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons as USC’s offensive quality control assistant, working with the wide receivers the first year and the tight ends the next season.  USC’s wideouts caught 230 passes with 24 touchdowns in 2016, with JuJu Smith-Schuster getting 70 receptions for 914 yards and 10 touchdowns that season before playing in the NFL and Deontay Burnett catching 3 TDs in the 2017 Rose Bowl.  USC’s tight ends had 36 catches and 5 touchdowns in 2017.

Colbert was an offensive analyst at Alabama during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, helping the Crimson Tide win the 2015 national championship.

He was the wide receivers coach at Georgia State in 2013.  Wide receiver Albert Wilson was a 1,000-yard pass catcher in 2013;  both Wilson and fellow wideout Robert Davis played in the NFL.

In 2012, Colbert was a volunteer coach at Pace Academy in Atlanta (Ga.).

Colbert spent the 2010 season as a graduate assistant at USC, working with the tight ends.  Five tight ends on the Trojan roster that year played in the NFL (Jordan Cameron, Rhett Ellison, David Ausberry, Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer).

Colbert started 4 years (2000-03) at wide receiver at USC.  He set the since-broken USC all-time receptions record (207) while gaining 2,964 receiving yards and catching 19 touchdown passes in his career.  He caught a pass in his last 36 games and had 6 career 100-yard receiving games.  The Trojans captured the national championship in 2003 and won the 2003 Orange Bowl and 2004 Rose Bowl.  As a 2003 senior, he was a team captain, won USC’s Most Inspirational Award, earned All-Pac-10 second team honors and was selected to play in the Senior Bowl after catching 69 passes for 1,013 yards with 9 TDs.  He caught 2 touchdowns in the 2004 Rose Bowl.  As a 2002 junior, he had 71 catches for 1,029 yards with 5 TDs and was named All-Pac-10 second team and USC’s Bob Chandler Award winner.  He and teammate Mike Williams tied an NCAA record in 2002 and again in 2003 for teammates both having 1,000 receiving yards in a season.  He added 34 receptions for 442 yards and 2 TDs as a 2001 sophomore and 33 catches for 480 yards with 3 scores as a 2000 freshman.

He was drafted in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers and spent 5 years (2004-08) in the NFL.  He was with the Panthers for the first 4 of those seasons (2004-07), where he started 45 of the 58 games he played (including his first 34) and caught 112 passes for 1,464 yards and 7 TDs (with a pair of 100-yard games).  He set Carolina rookie season records for receptions (47), receiving yards (754) and receiving touchdowns (5) in 2004.  He helped the Panthers reach the 2005 NFC Championship game, catching 25 passes for 282 yards and 2 scores that season.  After grabbing 5 passes for 56 yards in 2006, he added 32 receptions for 332 yards in 2007.

He spent 2008 with 3 teams, the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks (7 catches, 52 yards, 1 TD with 4 starts) and Detroit Lions (5 catches, 64 yards with 3 starts).  He was with the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League in 2009.  In 2011, he played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

He was a prep All-American at Hueneme High in Oxnard (Calif.), where he also was on the track team.

He received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from USC in 2006.

Colbert was born May 21, 1982.  He is married and his wife’s name is Safiya.  He has a 9-year-old son, Kaden.  Among his cousins are former Arizona State defensive lineman Tommie Townsend (1999-2001), who also attended USC, former USC safety Patrick Hall and former Hawaii wide receiver Justin Colbert (1999-2002).

  • Chris

    Colbert will be great. Who better to sell the USC story to recruits? Fight on!!!

    Btw- Alabama just promoted OC from within, but I am sure that is genius move.

    • Trojans 6942

      These two guys will beat down doors in recruiting.

    • gotroy22

      He is The Pride of Hueneme High!

    • Lunderful

      True about Colbert and his credibility regarding USC football heritage and he was a good receiver himself, but he has no experience coaching TE’s. I asume that a TE background is irrelevant when coachng that position. Interesting and a bit disconcerting.

  • Tebow_Obama

    The USC athletic dept. is slow on the uptake these days.

  • USC jojo

    According to USC Athletics, Colbert will also be coaching the inside receivers.

    • Pudly76

      You mean when we play in domes?

      • steveg

        Or is that the slot receiver? Seems odd, sometimes the slot back is outside the WR.

        • Pudly76

          Probably anyone who’ll be running inside routes, these days that could be anyone to create mismatches

      • USC jojo

        Lol. I think they meant to say slot receivers, but that is what they wrote.

      • peter

        I think you nailed it. The stooges in me just thought it would be a blog for pass catchers

  • Jack B

    No reason to interview outside for these positions since the inside help is more than fine.

    Look for maybe Nansen to move over to the RB coach spot (he’s coached there before and recruits well) and for USC to promote from within again for the LB spot – or go outside if they can find a guy who wants a 1-yr K.

    • peter

      Nansen currently is ranked 4th among recruiters by 247.

    • Trojans 6942

      A good summation but I think they keep him on the defensive side. Reason being outside of two defensive players that have committed, Nansen has the the rest. One of the two amazing enough is Tee. They need him on d.

      • Jack B

        You might be right but I think it’s easier to find LB coaches than RB assts. Nansen could slide right in. Just a hunch. May not happen until after Feb 7 when the total class is all locked up.

    • leftofthdial .

      Move Nansen to RBs and bring back Sirmon to coach LBs? He was a heck of a recruiter, too.

      • Jack B

        Sirmon was just hired at CAL.

        • leftofthdial .

          Oh, that makes sense with Wilcox there. Thanks for the update.

        • steveg

          Another retread. SC needs some fresh faces. Let JDR coach LB’s he might be useful there.

    • Pudly76

      So Jack, what do you think, everybody thinks our db coach is the worst, but then if we end up with ITS, Griffin or Irvin to go along with Williams, what’s the deal? Are they all coming to be under coached?

      • Jack B

        Bradford’s getting a free pass for now. I think some of USC’s CB problems involve pure talent – like the always over-rated Grabby, who was not recruited by Bradford. But I don’t hear good things about Bradford as a recruiter, yet we seem to be doing very well in DB recruiting.

        But Bradford and Callaway are staying. Helton has to figure out a way to clean up this team without replacing them. He’s changing the pieces around a little, but everything hinges on recruiting now. The time for more coaching tweaks is after LOI Day.

        • AtlDDS

          Jack, he doesn’t want to change those guys. He thinks they are just fine. Go figure.

  • David Keeling

    I’m waiting for the announcement of the new O-line coach. Hey Clay Helton, we’re waiting for your announcement of the new O-line coach…… hello? Hey Helton?

    • Jack B

      Not happening. Acceptance is the answer to all of our problems.

      • AtlDDS

        Serenity now!

    • Fred Sampson


  • Tebow_Obama

    He should be used to that by now, he’s been getting clowned by Helton for years now.

  • Jack B

    Mike Vrabel gets hired from the Texans to be the new TENN Titans HC. The carousel continues round.

  • Jack B

    Who ever said Ellis has the ability to overrule Tee? Pure speculation and not happening. Tee’s holding the cards actually. He’s the only one with a long term K. I’m sure Tee feels fantastic. He got exactly what he wanted.

  • Pudly76

    Kansas freshman forward Billy Preston signs pro contract to play in Bosnia…

    • gotroy22

      Will It Go Round In Circles?

      • Pudly76

        Saw him with the Stones a couple of times..good stuff

        • gotroy22

          Incredibly talented side man!

  • steveg

    Both are good hires, will bring fresh ideas and outlooks to the staff. Both have outside experience to share.

  • steveg

    Watching replay of MD and St. JBosco. Got to say Daniels is all they say he is. I understand why he reclassified, he wants to compete for the starter job for 2018 while it is up for grabs and there is no incumbent starter. Real competitor. Bosco has a RB who weighs 201 as a sophmore with speed.

    • peter

      I’ve read and heard the phrase QB savant used describing him. He has uncanny ablity learning systems.
      With all the conversation about coaches, I have this feeling one day JT could make a fine coach.
      Back to 2018, providing he stays healthy, will have a great career.

  • BBScBaby

    Since Wolfie is so negative and won’t say it. Congratulations Ellis and Colbert!!

  • jim

    Good Hires…both of them

  • LamontRaymond

    Not a rookie QB coach. He was the play-caller at Western KY. He’s respected.

    • Tebow_Obama

      Wasn’t Tyson Helton the play caller at W. Kentucky as well? How did he work out? Oh that’s right…he didn’t.

  • English 101

    Quote from Eeyore (a pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, anhedonic, old grey stuffed donkey) — “So USC’s filled two openings by promoting from within. I doubt anyone else was even interviewed.”

    First of all, Eeyore — Run a grammar check before posting your negative nonsense. Next, read Joey Kaufman’s write up to see how a real journalist reports the same story.

  • disqus_CARwRiuTsK

    i hope i am wrong, but only see failure ahead if Helton cant even bring in outside coaching talent.

  • Sas

    I love having Keary Colbert on our team again. Great hire.

    No Disrespect to Bryan Ellis, but….seriously?

    Helton is just asking for his walking papers.
    Another family friend or familiar face gets to coach at USC.
    I’m hoping for the best but Helton is rolling the dice with this staff.