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Trakh returns as USC women’s basketball head coach (ICYMI)

Trakh spent the last six seasons as head coach of New Mexico State

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s note: periodically we like to highlight some USC athletics news that may have fallen through the cracks, been forgotten about or just flew under the radar. So in case you missed it, USC Women’s basketball has a new head coach**

USC athletic director Lynn Swann has announced that Mark Trakh has accepted the women’s basketball head coach position, marking his second stint with the program.

Trakh has an overall record of 393-267 in his 22-year career as a head coach with USC, Pepperdine, and New Mexico State, including eight NCAA Tournament appearances and seven regular season championships.

Trakh most recent coaching job was with New Mexico State, where he went 104-80 in six seasons with the Aggies, including a 20-win season, NCAA Tournament appearance, and Coach of the Year honors in each of the last three years.

The Aggies went 24-7 last season and 14-0 in Western Athletic Conference play, their first-ever perfect conference record. They closed out the year on a program-record 17-game winning streak before losing to Stanford 72-64 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Trakh coached the Women of Troy from 2004-09, compiling a 90-64 overall record and a 52-38 record in Pac-10 play, and leading the team to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2005 and 2006, both resulting in second-round exits. He resigned after the 2008-09 season, citing personal reasons.

USC fans will hope Trakh continues the recruiting success from his previous stint, where he brought in four Top-10 recruiting classes in five seasons, including the No. 1 class in 2006.

Trakh will succeed Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, who resigned on March 3rd after four seasons as the Trojan’s head coach. Cooper-Dyke compiled a 70-57 record at the helm, including a 29-45 record in Pac-12 play, and led the team to the NCAA Tournament in the 2012-13 season.

USC went 14-16 overall and 5-13 in Pac-12 play last season, finishing in a four-way tie for ninth in the conference. The Women of Troy exited the Pac-12 tournament in the first round, losing 71-58 to California.

"I’m excited to once again be a part of the great tradition at USC," Trakh said after the announcement.

"The goal and expectation is always to get to the Final Four. I feel that there is a ton of potential in this team and I look forward to start working with them. I really want to reignite the tradition of excellence that we have at USC. It all starts with recruiting and coaching up the women and helping them succeed. I also look forward to coaching again in the Pac-12, which is filled with great teams and coaches and is really a conference of national contenders."

Trakh will have plenty of talent coming to the Galen Center, with USC’s 2017 class ranking No. 14 in the espnW HoopGurlz class rankings, featuring espnW No. 17 recruit Ayanna Clark and No. 85 recruit Shalexxus Aaron. Aaron is the sister of USC redshirt sophomore guard Shaqquan Aaron, who recently declared for the 2017 NBA Draft but has not hired an agent.