University of Southern California has fired men's head basketball coach Kevin O'Neill. Athletic Director Pat Haden announced the move on Monday morning, and both sides released statements indicating an amicable parting of ways. O'Neill has been the head coach at USC since 2009, the latest stop in what seems like a constantly moving journey through college and professional basketball.
O'Neill amassed a 48-65 record in his three and a half seasons with USC, and the team had started 7-10 this year -- prompting the move as Pac-12 Conference play heats up. In the school release, O'Neill expressed gratitude for the opportunity and asked current Trojan basketball recruits to keep their commitments:
"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."
Bob Cantu will serve on an interim basis for the remainder of the season as Haden conducts his search for the next head coach. Cantu has been a coach in the program for 12 seasons, and served as head coach for one game on an emergency basis in 2011.