New USC hoops head coach Andy Enfield has landed his second major recruit in his nearly two weeks in Troy: San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland has agreed to terms to be the newest member of the Trojan coaching staff, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Bland formally accepted the position with USC Wednesday morning, and will serve as the associate head coach under Enfield.
The assistant coach was extremely torn by this decision, as he played basketball for San Diego State and is very partial to his alma mater. But Enfield and USC would not take no for an answer. They originally offered him last Thursday, but Bland said he needed a day to think about it. Nearly a week later–and with a salary increase from $120,000 a year to $300,000–he made his decision in favor of USC. The slight promotion helped too; at SDSU he was the No. 3 assistant coach, and at USC he will work directly under Enfield.
As the lead basketball recruiter for the Aztecs, Bland brings a bevy of recruiting prowess in the Southern California area that could really help USC re-establish a footing in the hoops scene, and it couples well with other new assistant coach Jason Hart’s AAU connections.
Bland also has experience helping to establish a program out of nothing, as was the case with Aztecs basketball when he joined their staff in 2000. He told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he is excited for the challenge of getting fans into the seats, and building a team competitive enough to be championship worthy.
Coach Enfield said that he would bring in coaches with West Coast clout to help rebuild the Trojan hoops program, and in just two weeks, he has certainly delivered on that statement.
For the first time in years, USC fans have a reason to get excited about basketball season.