Posted tagged ‘kevin o’neill’

USC KO’ed?

July 2, 2009

When news broke that USC hired Kevin O’Neill to be their head basketball coach the first thing that came to my head was “what the hell is Mike Garrett thinking?”.  Why would Garrett hire a guy who’s failed with virtually every job he’s worked at? A guy who’s combined coaching record is 171-180 and has been run out of two NBA gigs, Tennessee,

Kevin O'Neill (Jake Lacey, Daily Wildcat)

Kevin O'Neill (Jake Lacey/Daily Wildcat)

Northwestern, and most recently Arizona. The truth is hiring O’Neill wasn’t just a good hire,  it was an excellent hire. In the situation its in, O’Neill is everything that USC needs and everything that O’Neill could ever hope for.  For all that USC could expect, O’Neill will demand respect from his peers, recruit, and teach his players how to play the game of basketball- all with the integrity and honesty that Floyd didn’t have.

But couldn’t have Garrett hired someone with at least some success? Maybe Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon or at least someone like  Reggie Theus? The answer, simply, is no. No coach with any hope of having a long term coaching career would ever come into the mess that USC is in right now. Recruiting violations, no recruits, and public scrutiny: it would almost take a miracle for someone to recover from this situation without getting fired. On the other hand for as bad of coaching record that Kevin O’Neill has, the USC  job is the best thing  O’Neill could ever dream of getting.

Simply put Kevin O’Neill is Mike Garrett’s fallback guy for the future. USC is in for a very rough next couple of years, and that’s exactly what O’Neill is there for.  O’Neill’s strong persona will bring an aspect of stability to USC exactly to what Garrett wants. Garrett also knows well from O’Neill’s history and by the enormity of the task O’Neill has, that O’Neill will not have the success to last as the permanent successor at USC, and Garrett is hoping O’Neill will do a good enough job in his short tenure to bring enough stability to USC so that they can actually go for the high profile coach like the one they hoped for now (like Jamie Dixon).

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