The search is over for USC head coach Clay Helton's new strength and conditioning coach with the hiring of Aaron Ausmus this week. Ausmus returns to the Trojans for his third stint in SoCal to replace Ivan Lewis, who accepted a position with the Seattle Seahawks in the offseason. Ausmus was on the field with the team during USC's first practice of spring camp on Tuesday.
"I'm very excited to bring Aaron Ausmus back to USC," said Helton during his first media scrum of spring. "Aaron has won a national championship here under Pete Carroll in 2003. I've watched him lead two SEC programs. I watched him take a 2010 team when he came back to USC and in a year create one of the better teams in college football with that 2011 team. Great to have him back and with the staff that he's putting together I know we will produce a great football team in 2019."
Ausmus, 44, served as USC's head strength and conditioning coach for four seasons between 2010-13. He also was an assistant at USC for three seasons from 2001 to 2003 where he worked with the Trojans' 2003 national championship team, as well as with the men's and women's track, women's soccer and men's golf teams, per his bio. Most recently Ausmus was working as a West Coast sales consultant at Sorinex Exercise Equipment for the past four years.
Ausmus also has college stops at Tennessee (graduate assistant, volunteer assistant), Idaho (head S&C coach), Mississippi (head S&C coach) and North Texas (head S&C coach). He returned to Knoxville in 2009 to take over the S&C program for one season before accepting the job at USC in 2010. Ausmus was a member of Tennessee's track team (1994-98), where he was a two-time All-American and won the 1997 NCAA indoor shot put title
This marks the official end of a long quest to find Lewis' replacement, who departed in January. Lewis held the title of USC's strength and conditioning coach since 2013, brought over by former USC and Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian. Helton commented in late January how the process was going.
"Ivan's replacement will be someone who can develop our players' total body as well as design programs for their skill specific needs. That programming should incorporate strength, conditioning, speed training, functional football movements, preventative injury exercises, flexibility, diet and sleep. That person will be forward thinking when it comes to the art of sports science and how it can help our players gain a competitive advantage," he said. "They should have the leadership skills and confidence to lead a group of 110 young men, being firm but fair and holding them accountable to their responsibilities. Someone who will coach them hard, but also develop relationships built on trust and honesty. And someone who will establish toughness, discipline and teamwork that will carry over to the practice field and games."