USC announced on Saturday afternoon that longtime assistant coach Bob Cantu will not return to the Trojan coaching staff next season.
Cantu–who had been with the Trojans through 12 seasons and four different coaching staffs–took to Twitter to express his gratitude for having been in Troy for so long:
I would like to thank USC for 12 good years! I will not be returning as a coach at USC and wish the best to the future staff.Fight on!!
— Bob Cantu (@coachbobcantu) April 7, 2013
It was a classy move by Cantu, who served as USC’s interim head coach this year after Kevin O’Neill was fired midseason. He breathed new life into the program during the months that he coached. Though there were many ups and downs along the way to posting a 7-8 record under his leadership, he got the team to play loose, fun basketball at times and even led them to victories over UCLA and then-ranked No. 11 Arizona.
USC recently hired Florida Gulf COast’s Andy Enfield to take over the reins of the men’s basketball program, and at his press conference, he said that he would look to finding assistant coaches that could really tap into the Los Angeles talent bed. Though it would seem Cantu fit that requirement having been in Troy for 12 years, Enfield has chosen to pursue other options.
According to reports, one such option is Tony Bland from San Diego State. Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel tweeted Saturday night that Bland has been contacted about the job and is expected to make a decision on Sunday. He is deciding between SDSU and USC, though other Pac-12 schools are interested in him as well.
For all he showed he could do with USC over his tenure, Bob Cantu will not be unemployed for long, and he will surely be a great addition to a program that both wants and needs him.