Eric Musselman of Arkansas is Hired by USC to Take Andy Enfield’s Place

Eric Musselman of Arkansas has been appointed as USC’s next coach, the university said on Thursday.

Andy Enfield, who departed USC after 11 seasons to take a coaching position at SMU, is replaced by Musselman.

Musselman will be unveiled during a press conference on Friday. “My family and I couldn’t be more excited for this incredible opportunity at USC,” the statement reads. “We will be committed to the development of our student-athletes and upholding the values that make the Trojan Family so special. We will hit the ground running and work tirelessly to make our great alumni, fans and all of Los Angeles proud.”

The 59-year-old Musselman has finished his worst season since moving to Fayetteville in 2019. He had guided the team to three straight Elite Eights and a Sweet 16 appearance prior to the Razorbacks’ 16-17 overall and 6-12 SEC record. Arkansas finished the regular season in 2020–21 with 11 straight victories, made it to the regional championship, and ultimately lost to Baylor, the eventual national champion.

The Razorbacks ended the regular season with a 14–16 record and advanced to the Elite Eight, where they were defeated by Duke, despite having a completely redesigned roster the following year. Despite having a difficult final stretch of the season, Arkansas was ranked eighth going into the NCAA tournament the previous year. The Razorbacks advanced to the second weekend once more after defeating Illinois in the first round and then defeating Kansas, the number one seed, in the second round. Arkansas had not advanced to the Sweet 16 since 1996 prior to Musselman’s arrival.

At Arkansas, Musselman went 111-59 in five seasons.

Jennifer Cohen, the athletic director at USC, stated that Musselman is dedicated to fostering an excellence-driven culture and has a history of developing successful teams.

“Eric displays heart, boldness, resiliency and everything that it means to be a Trojan,” Cohen stated. “He inspires togetherness and will help build and grow the program’s connectivity within the Trojan community. As we move to the Big Ten and enter a new chapter for USC Men’s Basketball, there is no better fit than Eric Musselman to launch our program to new heights.”

Musselman was Nevada’s head coach for four seasons before taking over at Arkansas. During that time, the Wolf Pack won three Mountain West regular-season crowns and made three trips to the NCAA tournament, including a Sweet 16 participation in 2017–18. Throughout Musselman’s four seasons in Reno, they went 110-34, winning at least twenty-four games apiece.

Since 1989, Musselman—the son of former NBA coach Bill Musselman—has served as a coach at various levels of the game. He led the Sacramento Kings for one season in 2006–07 in addition to the Golden State Warriors from 2002–04, where he placed second in the NBA Coach of the Year competition in his first year. In addition, he coached the national teams of Venezuela and the Dominican Republic and worked in the CBA, USBL, and D-League.

Along with UCLA, Washington, and Oregon, USC is one of four Pac-12 teams that will join the Big Ten this summer to create an 18-team conference.

Leading scorer Boogie Ellis is no longer eligible, rookie Isaiah Collier may choose to enter the NBA draft, and Kobe Johnson said on Thursday that he is transferring to UCLA, therefore the roster will look different in 2024–25. LeBron James’ son Bronny is still with the team despite averaging 4.8 points in primarily backup play as a freshman. His congenital heart abnormality initially kept him out of commission for about five months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *