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Paso Robles native Bob Cantu is interim head coach at USC 

Paso Robles native Bob Cantu is interim head coach at USC

Bob Cantu

Bob Cantu

University of South California reports – Longtime USC assistant coach Bob Cantu, a Paso Robles native. will serve as interim head coach while a search for Kevin O’Neill’s successor is conducted. USC men’s basketball coach O’Neill was relieved of his duties, Trojan athletic director Pat Haden announced yesterday.

“I would like to thank Kevin O’Neill for his four years of service to USC,” said Haden. “He took over a program under difficult circumstances because of our NCAA issues and, despite that, he was able to do some good things.

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

“I feel confident that Bob Cantu will capably guide our team on an interim basis while we search for a new coach.” Cantu runs an annual basketball camp for children at the YMCA in Paso Robles.

Said O’Neill: “I enjoyed my four years at USC. It is a special place. I enjoyed the people I worked with, the players I coached and our fans. I thank USC for allowing me to guide their program. I couldn’t be more proud to work anywhere.

“I would encourage all of our recruits to honor their commitment to USC and help build the Trojan program in the right direction.”

O’Neill, in his fourth year at USC, had a 48-65 overall record, including 7-10 this season after going 6-26 in an injury-plagued 2012 campaign. The Trojans are 2-2 in Pac-12 play this year and are coming off a road split this past weekend, falling at Colorado before winning at Utah to snap a 14-game road losing skid. USC has lost 9 of its last 13 games, which included a 5-game losing streak.

Source: USC

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.