Horton hire rounds out Trojan staff

USC men’s basketball coach Kevin O’Neill announced Thursday that he has chosen Dieter Horton to be an assistant coach on his new staff.

Horton previously coached for 10 seasons (1997-06) at Fullerton College, where he led the team to a state championship in 2006 while compiling a 37-0 record — the most wins in one season in California junior college history.

He spent the last four seasons (2007-10) coaching at Antelope Valley College where he had a 97-47 record before resigning in March.

“Dieter has a tremendous amount of coaching experience as a head coach, and he’ll be a valuable addition to our staff,” O’Neill said in a statement. “He has produced successful teams wherever he’s been. I’m extremely pleased he is joining us.”

This move is the latest in a slew of changes made to the coaching staff by O’Neill, which included firing assistants Gib Arnold and Phil Johnson and promoting Bob Cantu and Tony Miller to associate head coach and assistant coach, respectively.

Cantu’s promotion was also announced alongside Horton’s hiring. Cantu has spent the last nine seasons as an assistant head coach for O’Neill and former USC coaches Tim Floyd and Henry Bibby.

After leaving USC following five years of coaching for the Trojans, Arnold became the new head coach at the University of Hawai’i while Johnson opted to join Floyd at the University of Texas at El Paso.

O’Neill will be looking to improve upon his first year as head coach of the Trojans after producing a record of 16-14 in his first season and finishing tied for fifth in the Pac-10.