As ParagonSC speculated last week, Kevin O'Neill has in fact decided to fire two holdovers from Tim Floyd's coaching staff, Gib Arnold and Phil Johnson, just two days after the Trojans finished their 2009-2010 season on the road in Tucson. From CBSSports.com:
Southern California coach Kevin O'Neill has decided against retaining assistants Gib Arnold and Phil Johnson, leaving Bob Cantu as the only recruiting assistant from Tim Floyd's staff who is still at the school, a west coast source told CBSSports.com on Monday.
An official announcement is expected later this week.
It's unclear how O'Neill will fill the openings, though it's possible Tony Miller could be promoted into one of them. Miller played for O'Neill at Marquette in the 1990s. He is currently USC's strength and conditioning manager.
The Trojans finished 14-16 in O'Neill's first season.
Arnold and Johnson both spent five years at Southern California.
I don't think anybody out there is surprised by this at all. O'Neill said that he would evaluate the staff upon the completion of the season, and it was incredibly unlikely that he was going to keep all of Floyd's guys on staff. Some people were going to have to go.
Cantu is important for recruiting purposes, as he has a good relationship with a lot of the area's high school coaches. O'Neill isn't a west coast guy, and if the Trojans are going to be able to recruit effectively in Los Angeles from here on out, they had no choice but to keep him on staff.
Before he is sent packing or decides to leave on his own terms, O'Neill is going to do his best to leave his stamp on this program, and that first starts with bringing in his own guys to join him on the bench.
We'll keep you updated on this, as it progresses into the night.
Well, it looks as if O'Neill got rid of these guys based on their relationship with Floyd, not necessarily their coaching abilities.
"This is a decision I wrestled with for a while. It had nothing to do with their coaching ability or performance, or with any issues related to the current status of the Trojan program. It simply has to do with the vision I have for how I want to structure this program. I want to move in a different direction."