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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

USC Basketball Coach Kevin O'Neill Fired

Michael Juliani |
January 14, 2013 | 9:26 a.m. PST

Executive Producer

Coach O'Neill addresses his bench.  (Shotgun Spratling / Neon Tommy)
Coach O'Neill addresses his bench. (Shotgun Spratling / Neon Tommy)

USC Athletics announced Monday morning that men's basketball head coach Kevin O'Neill has been "relieved of his duties."  Longtime assistant Bob Cantu will serve as interim coach during the search for a new leader.

"I would like to thank Kevin O'Neill for his four years of service to USC," said athletic director Pat Haden.  "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."

O'Neill said, "I enjoyed my four years at USC.  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 of our recruits to honor their commitment to USC and help build the Trojan program in the right direction."

The men's basketball team has a 7-10 record this season.  Over his four years, O'Neill's record was 48-65.


Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of USC men's basketball here.

Reach Executive Producer Michael Juliani here.



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