Statements From O'Neill, Johnson And Arnold Regarding Coaching Changes

March 9, 2010


'I have had to make the difficult decision of telling both Phil Johnson and Gib Arnold that I have not retained them on our coaching staff.

'Everyone connected with the USC men's basketball program appreciates the time and effort they gave us. They are outstanding coaches and I firmly believe both would make excellent head coaches.

'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.

'We thank both of them immensely.'

STATEMENT FROM Gib Arnold (3-9-10):

'Having been raised in this game, I am well aware of the business side of college basketball. I have known for some time that Coach O'Neill would like to bring in his own guys to assist him. I understand and support this decision and wish Kevin, his new staff and the USC basketball team all my best.

'I am thankful that I was able to help Kevin during his transition year. I am also very grateful for the five wonderful years I spent as part of the Trojan family. This five-year period produced more wins, NCAA appearances and NBA players than any other such span in USC basketball history. I am very proud that I could play a role in that success.

'As for now, I am looking forward to pursuing other coaching options and to continue building championship programs. Fight On!'

STATEMENT FROM Phil Johnson (3-9-10):

'This is best for Kevin O'Neill and for Phil Johnson. I'm proud of being part of three-straight 20-win seasons and three-straight NCAA appearances, both school records.

'I have no doubt that Kevin and his new staff will do extremely well and I'm sure exceed that.

'I appreciate everyone at USC. I have really enjoyed my time at USC and would like to thank everyone in the Trojan family. It has been a great five years and I will always have fond memories of my time at USC.'

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