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UTEP coach Tim Floyd meets with USC about vacant basketball job after USC reaches out

By Staff Report
Published On: Mar 11 2013 01:24:18 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 06 2013 07:05:32 PM CST

The Miners lose a close one to the Memphis Tigers, but the question everyone wanted answered last night was is Coach Floyd leaving for USC?

EL PASO, Texas -

UTEP head basketball coach Tim Floyd has met with USC Athletic Director Pat Haden about the Trojans' vacant basketball position, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

Floyd told the Los Angeles Times Monday night that Haden had contacted him and that their three-hour meeting "went well."

Haden declined to comment until the coaching search is complete. USC fired its current coach during this season.

UTEP officials told ABC-7 that Floyd would not be available to talk about the report until after tonight's home game against Memphis.

UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull released the following statement Tuesday morning: "I was contacted six weeks ago by Pat Haden, who was interested in talking to Tim Floyd about the USC coaching job. The meeting took place. Coach Floyd has always indicated to me that he is happy working at UTEP, and until he tells me otherwise he is our coach."

Floyd coached USC from 2006-'09 and then resigned in the midst of the NCAA investigating the USC basketball program.

"I chose not to try my case in the media," Floyd told ESPN in March 2010. "I left because of lack of support (at USC)."

He was hired as UTEP's head coach in March 2010, signing a five-year contract and earning $600,000 a year.

The NCAA didn't attach any violations to Floyd when it released its findings and sanctions on USC on June 10, 2010.

The NCAA report's most damaging statement toward Floyd was that he sat in on a meeting with runner Rodney Guillory, who was pushing USC to recruit O.J. Mayo, and that the USC staff continued to recruit Mayo through Guillory even though they had "Googled" to find out that Guillory was identified as a "runner" for a sports agent in a case involving another NCAA member institution.

Floyd has maintained he did nothing wrong.

During Floyd's UTEP radio show in Nov. 2010, he said that after 24 years away from UTEP that it was the right time to return. He said he and his wife, Beverly, were finally ready to plant their feet in El Paso. Floyd was previously an assistant coach at UTEP from 1978-'86 under Don Haskins.

One of the country's top freshmen classes was recruited to UTEP under Floyd and will start playing for UTEP next season.

UTEP wraps up its home schedule tonight against Memphis at the Don Haskins Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Seats are still available for the Memphis game but UTEP expects a crowd of at least 10,000 fans - the first time there has been that many fans at the Don Haskins Center since the 2010-'11 season.

"I think anytime you're playing a ranked team, everybody gets energized," Floyd said in a UTEP Athletics release Monday. "Memphis, though, has dealt with this on a nightly basis every time they go on the road. They get everybody's best shot. Up until last week, they were the only undefeated team in the country on the road. Our place will be jacked up for it and I know our players will be, and I hope we'll play well."

The Tigers (25-4, 14-0 C-USA) own a 21-game winning streak versus C-USA opponents (includes tournament games) since losing at home to UTEP, 60-58, on Feb. 18, 2012.

Memphis ranks fourth nationally in blocked shots (6.5 avg.), seventh in assists (16.9 avg.), 15th in field goal percentage (.479) and 17th in steals (9.0 avg.). The Tigers lead C-USA in seven statistical cat¬egories for league games only -- scoring (77.5 ppg), scoring margin (+13.6 ppg), field goal per¬centage (.490), field goal percentage defense (.393), blocks (7.1 avg.), assists (18.5 apg) and assist/turnover ratio (1.2).

"I think the country has been sleeping on them," Floyd said. "They had a rough outing over at Xavier. But I thought, in the games they played against Southern Miss, that I was looking at the best team in the country just based on their energy, the way they shared the ball and moved the ball, how they were guarding and forcing turnovers, and their dominance on the glass. It's a veteran team with juniors and seniors now and they're playing at a high level."

Tim Floyd Bio

Floyd was named UTEP's 18th men's basketball head coach on March 30, 2010 -- returning to the place where he landed his first full-time coaching position nearly 30 years earlier.

Floyd, an assistant coach at UTEP from 1978-86, has posted a 368-207 record in 18 seasons as a college head coach. His teams have made eight NCAA Tournament appearances and four trips to the NIT. Floyd's previous collegiate coaching stops include Idaho (1986-88), New Orleans (1988-94), Iowa State (1994-98) and USC (2005-09).

Floyd led Iowa State and USC to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament in 1997 and 2007 respectively, and New Orleans advanced three rounds in the NIT in 1990. Floyd's teams have also won three conference tournaments (New Orleans 1990, Iowa State 1996, USC 2009), while posting eleven 20-win seasons.

Floyd was also a head coach in the National Basketball Association for five seasons with the Chicago Bulls (1998-2002) and New Orleans Hornets (2003-04). He led a major rebuilding effort with the Bulls following the departure of coach Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Floyd directed the Hornets to the 2004 NBA playoffs, where they lost to Miami in a seven-game first round series.

Floyd directed the 2011-12 Miners, a team with only one senior (Gabriel McCulley) and seven freshmen, to 15 wins. UTEP beat the top three teams in Conference USA (Memphis, Southern Miss, Tulsa), as well as NCAA Tournament participant NM State. The Miners also knocked off Clemson and Auburn at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.

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