Off to an underwhelming 7-10 start, and coming off an abysmal 6-26 campaign last year, the USC Trojans announced Monday they have fired head coach Kevin O’Neill.
USC basketball coach Kevin O’Neill was fired Monday during an 08.00 meeting with athletic director Pat Haden and associate athletic director Steve Lopes.
“They informed me they were going in a different direction,” O’Neill told ESPN.com by phone as he was driving home from the meeting. “I thanked them for the opportunity. I have nothing but great things to say about the university. It’s a great place.”
Associate head coach Bob Cantu, a 12-year member of the staff, will take over on an interim basis for the rest of the season. O’Neill said he is due $1.5 million for the remainder of his contract.
“It’s disappointing any time you don’t win enough,”
O’Neill said Monday.
“That’s what it comes down to in this business, winning enough. I’m disappointed I couldn’t do a better job for the players.”
Even though USC has improved significantly from last season, the Trojans have still struggled to win games. Hoping for a quick fix, O’Neill signed a slew of transfers such as J.T. Terrell and Ari Stewart (both from Wake Forest), Omar Oraby (Rice) and Eric Wise (UC Irvine). With all of them playing together for the first time this season, chemistry and cohesion was clearly an issue.