Tim Floyd, USC AD speak
"They did not offer me a job, nor was I looking for a job," Floyd said following the Miners' 56-54 loss to No. 25 Memphis on Tuesday. "We had a great three-hour conversation and that's all I'm going to say."
UTEP athletic director Bob Stull said Tuesday that Haden contacted him six weeks ago about meeting with Floyd, and that the meeting took place.
How Floyd's 4-Year Run Stacks Up
USC could do a lot worse than bringing back Tim Floyd. The current Texas-El Paso coach guided the Trojans to a school-record three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 2007-09.
Floyd resigned as USC's coach in June 2009 while the school's football and basketball programs were under NCAA investigation for alleged improper conduct. The NCAA investigated the basketball program's recruitment of guard O.J. Mayo, who left the school after one season and was the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft by Minnesota.
The NCAA found no violations committed personally by Floyd, but USC was penalized for alleged actions by Mayo. As a result, the Trojans self-imposed their own sanctions -- they did not participate in any postseason tournaments the season after Floyd resigned.
"Coach Floyd has always indicated to me that he is happy working at UTEP, and until he tells me otherwise he is our coach," Stull said.
Floyd's contract with UTEP runs through 2015 and pays at least $600,000 a year, according to the El Paso Times. He owes no financial penalty under the contract if he leaves UTEP.
Floyd told The Los Angeles Times on Monday that it was important for his former players and coaches to know that he talked to Haden about the job.
"I feel they should know that USC reached out, that no violations were found by the NCAA with USC basketball," Floyd told the newspaper. "I felt like I got my name back when I got offered a number of jobs when I left USC. Pat and I talked at length."
Floyd had success at USC, turning an also-ran program at a school known mostly for football into a winner. He went 85-50 in four seasons, with three trips to the NCAA tournament and one Sweet 16 berth.
Floyd was hired the following year in El Paso, three decades after he got his first coaching job under legendary Miners coach Don Haskins. He has a 56-39 record with the Miners in three seasons.
"I've been called on for a few jobs since I've been here at UTEP, and the immediate response and answer was, 'Not interested,'" Floyd said Tuesday. "In this particular case, the relationships I had at [USC], the way we left the school, was not comfortable for me and my family, my former players and my coaches. We chose to take a high road when we left."
Before Haden came aboard as the successor to athletic director Mike Garrett, Kevin O'Neill was hired to replace Floyd. O'Neill was fired in January and replaced by Bob Cantu on an interim basis. Cantu had worked under Floyd.
At the time of his hiring by UTEP, Floyd said, "I made a decision to leave USC because I was branded by my athletic director [Garrett] and I was just uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable, and if you've ever had a boss you didn't want to work for, if you want to stay there and work for him, that's your choice. At this point in my life, I did not have to."
On Tuesday, Floyd reiterated that he did not leave USC because of any NCAA sanctions.
"We are coaching here because we had no NCAA violations. Sometimes people around the country, maybe the media, may not understand that," said Floyd.
"I haven't said much about any subject, but when [USC] called, I felt like I owed it to our former players, our former coaches and our current coaches, guys that may be on this team that may want to coach someday, to go speak with them because the obvious answer is that [USC] did their homework. They weren't going to hire anybody who broke any NCAA rules."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.