Kevin O'Neill out as USC coach
USC announced the firing of coach Kevin O'Neill on Monday.
Associate head coach Bob Cantu, a member of USC's staff for the last 12 seasons, will take over in the interim as the coaching search begins, USC said.
The Trojans are coming off a 76-59 victory at Utah on Saturday, which snapped a 14-game road losing streak. They are 7-10 overall with a 2-2 mark in the Pac-12.
"I would like to thank Kevin O'Neill for his four years of service to USC," athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement. "He took over a program under difficult circumstances because of our NCAA issues and, despite that, he was able to do some good things.
"It was hard for me to evaluate him as a head coach until this year when he had enough players and veterans to compete. As the season progressed, it became evident to me that we needed new leadership in our men's basketball program. Despite a nice road win in our last game, I felt it was best to make a change now, with most of the Pac-12 season still ahead of us, in order to re-energize our team."
USC imposed sanctions on the program three years ago for NCAA rules violations, including a ban on postseason competition at the end of the 2009-2010 season, a reduction of scholarships and vacating all of its wins from 2007-08. The self-imposed sanctions from former athletic director Mike Garrett resulted from an internal investigation that found violations related to O.J. Mayo, who played for the Trojans during the 2007-2008 season under former coach Tim Floyd.
O'Neill was 48-65 overall coaching the Trojans. Despite being under .500 at this point, USC won only six of its 32 games in an injury-plagued 2012 season.
O'Neill's best season at USC came during the 2010-11 season when the Trojans were 19-14 and tied for fourth in the conference. The Trojans ended up losing to Virginia Commonwealth in the NCAA tournament's first round in Dayton, Ohio. VCU would go on to advance to the Final Four later that postseason.
"I enjoyed my four years at USC," O'Neill said in a statement. "It is a special place. I enjoyed the people I worked with, the players I coached and our fans. I thank USC for allowing me to guide their program. I couldn't be more proud to work anywhere. I would encourage all our recruits to honor their commitment to USC and help build the Trojan program the right way."
About time. Seems like this guy has failed everywhere (except for Marquette) he gets a job as a head coach, yet he still keeps getting head coaching jobs. His style is an archaic eyesore. He has no idea how to adapt to personnel and just wants to play ugly, grind it out, station to station basketball.