USC men’s basketball coach Kevin O’Neill fired

USC men’s basketball coach Kevin O’Neill was fired Monday morning, athletic director
Pat Haden announced.

O’Neill was midway through his fourth season with the team and compiled a 48-65
record overall. The Trojans are coming off a 76-59 road victory over Utah and
are 7-10 (2-2) on the season.

Luciano Nunez | Daily Trojan

Luciano Nunez | Daily Trojan

In a press release, Haden thanked O’Neill for his services but noted that he wanted to
take the program in a different direction.

“It was hard for me to evaluate him as a head coach until this year when he had enough
players and veterans to compete,” Haden said. “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.”

Assistant Bob Cantu will take over as interim head coach. Cantu has been with the team
since 2000 and was promoted to the position of associate head coach in 2010.

“I feel confident that Bob Cantu will capably guide our team on an interim basis while we
search for a new coach,” Haden said.

The Trojans will return home for a matchup against the No. 21 Oregon Ducks on
Thursday at 8 p.m.