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With Floyd and O'Neill, USC and Arizona have wacky coaching connection

June 20, 2009 | 12:54 pm

Kevin O'Neill as Arizona's interim coach. He will take over a USC program also in flux. A lot of sports fans overlook ESPN News in favor of the company's flagship station. In case you missed its breakdown of some recent twists of coaching fate:

"Try and follow this. Kevin O'Neill was the publicly named coach-in-waiting at Arizona in 2008 as he replaced legend Lute Olson while he was on a leave of absence.

"The season ends, Olson comes back, reneges on the deal. Fires O'Neill, only to permanently retire six months later.

"Skip ahead to April. New Wildcat coach Russ Pennell is out, nearly replaced by Tim Floyd -- who ends up staying at USC unaware of the public flogging that would await him in mere days. And he steps down.

"Guess who gets the Trojans job? Kevin O'Neill takes over his second Pac-10 program in flux."

Head spinning yet? Another it's-a-small-world link mentioned on the newscast: O'Neill is leaving an assistant job in Memphis, where O.J. Mayo currently plays.

-- Adam Rose

Photo: Kevin O'Neill as Arizona's interim coach. He will take over a USC program also in flux. Credit: Jerry Lai / Associated Press

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