USC: Phil Johnson

Horton named USC assistant

April, 8, 2010
USC coach Kevin O'Neill finalized his coaching staff Thursday, announcing the hiring of longtime junior college assistant Dieter Horton as an assistant coach.

Horton coached at Fullerton College and Antelope Valley College for the past 14 seasons, compiling a record of 295-174. His 2006 team at Fullerton went 37-0 and won the state title. Horton, 39, has had at least 30 of his players sign with four-year schools.

"Dieter has a tremendous amount of coaching experience as a head coach and he'll be a valuable addition to our staff," O'Neill said in a statement. "He has produced successful teams wherever he's been. I'm extremely pleased he is joining us."

Horton's hiring comes after O'Neill announced the promotion of Tony Miller from strength and conditioning manager to assistant last month. Neither Horton nor Miller has Division I assistant coaching experience.

O'Neill also announced Thursday that Bob Cantu has been promoted to associate head coach after nine seasons as an assistant with the program. Former assistant Gib Arnold, who was not retained this offseason, became the head coach at Hawaii last month. Wednesday, former USC assistant Phil Johnson, who O'Neill also chose not to retain, accepted an assistant coaching position with UTEP under former USC coach Tim Floyd.

The full Horton release is available here.

Arnold and Johnson officially out

March, 9, 2010
Basketball assistants Gib Arnold and Phil Johnson will not be retained, the university officially announced in a statement Tuesday.

The decision came after a long process, USC coach Kevin O'Neill said.

"This is a decision I wrestled with for a while," O'Neill said in the statement. "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."

Arnold and Johnson were brought on when former coach Tim Floyd was hired in 2005 and each spent five seasons with the team. Arnold said he had known for "some time" that O'Neill intended to bring his own assistants at some point.

"I understand and support this decision and wish Kevin, his new staff and the USC basketball team all my best," Arnold said. "I am thankful that I was able to help Kevin during his transition year."

Johnson, who also served as an assistant coach with Arizona and the NBA's Chicago Bulls, said he was proud to be a part of USC's three straight consecutive winning seasons under Floyd.

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

Bob Cantu, often named one of the top assistants in the nation, will stay with the program. Cantu has served an assistant under former USC coach Henry Bibby, Floyd and O'Neill.

The official statements from O'Neill, Arnold and Johnson are available here.



C. Kessler233162188418
J. Allen1509096.18
J. Davis733344.62
N. Agholor4853311.17
J. Smith2635013.51