USC Hires Kevin O’Neill

Posted by nvr1983 on June 20th, 2009

I’m beginning to think that there is some bizarre Arizona-USC connection going on after USC announced that former interim Wildcat¬† coach Kevin O’Neill was going to take over as the Trojans new head coach. You may remember O’Neill from the Lute Olson fiasco after the 2007-2008 season, but O’Neill also has prior coaching experience at the college (171-180¬† in 12 seasons) and pro level (helpful if you’re running a program like the one Tim Floyd apparently ran in LA the past few years).

kevin o'neill

To recap the action at Arizona and USC the past two years:

  • O’Neill takes over for Olson on an interim basis, but then Lute stabs him in the back and comes back for a short period before eventually retiring. O’Neill goes to work for the Memphis Grizzlies for a season.
  • Arizona hires Russ Pennell to take over for Olson after O’Neill is let go.
  • Tim Floyd guides the Trojans to respectability before O.J. Mayo comes to town. The Trojans manage to make it back to the NCAA tournament the year after Mayo leaves.
  • Arizona decides not to renew Pennell’s contract and starts searching for big name to take over. They decide on Floyd, who briefly decides to take the job before changing his mind. Arizona eventually hires Xavier head coach Sean Miller.
  • Floyd resigns leaving USC scrambling to find a head coach as it loses multiple recruits who decide to go to other programs. USC gets turned down by several big names including Jamie Dixon and Reggie Theus before selecting O’Neill.

O’Neill led the Wildcats to a 19-15 record and yet another NCAA tournament bid in his single season in Tucson, but according to some sources had difficulty connecting with the Wildcat players. While that may be a problem at some programs, I’m sure that the administration at USC will appreciate having a coach of one of their two major programs who follows the rules. While we would normally consider USC one of the best positions in the country, O’Neill has his work cut out for him with recruits leaving in droves and NCAA sanctions on the horizon.

nvr1983 (1305 Posts)


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2 Responses to “USC Hires Kevin O’Neill”

  1. Wow!

    unless I am completely misunderstanding you, I am surprised at your speculation.

    Are you implying that one of our coaches doesn’t follow the rules? Do you have any evidence that any of our coaches have ever broken the rules?

    I would be interested in hearing what new info have on any of our coaches breaking the rules…

  2. CatsFan says:

    One other bizarre connection…after the Olson/O’Neill/Pennell fiasco blew up, one of UA’s prized recruits, Solomon Hill, decommitted and committed to USC. After the Tim Floyd/OJ Mayo fiasco, he decommitted from USC and recommitted to Arizona. There is more speculation that at least one other USC recruit will head to UA. With the famously brusque and cranky O’Neill taking over the Trojans, one would think there will yet be more defections…

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