Floyd news conference to precede Leinart's

Updated: January 14, 2005, 1:56 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

LOS ANGELES -- Tim Floyd is being hired as Southern California's basketball coach, taking the job Rick Majerus accepted then abruptly quit last month.

USC spokesman Tim Tessalone said Thursday that a news conference will be held Friday afternoon on campus to introduce Floyd.

Tessalone told ESPN.com that Floyd would take over as head coach on April 1, but would be allowed to recruit on the road. Floyd will technically fill an assistant's position on the staff, but he won't be coaching. Per NCAA rules, Floyd must have that title to recruit. USC set up the same scenario for Rick Majerus last month before he resigned.

Tessalone added interim coach Jim Saia would remain in that capacity for the rest of the season.

Floyd, the former Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Hornets coach, will return to the college ranks, where he was 35-25 in two seasons at Idaho; 127-58 in six seasons at the University of New Orleans, and 81-47 in four years at Iowa State.

The 50-year-old Floyd was fired by the Hornets last May after they went 41-41 and lost in the first round of the NBA playoffs in his only season with the team.

He still had two years remaining on his contract with the Hornets, an issue that had to be worked out before he took the Trojans' post.

Floyd had the unenviable task of replacing Phil Jackson as the Bulls' coach in the post-Michael Jordan era. Jackson won six NBA titles and 74 percent of his games in nine seasons.

Floyd went 49-190 in Chicago -- one of the worst records ever for an NBA coach -- before resigning in December 2001.

"Every day has been hell," he said at the time.

Besides Jordan, Floyd also didn't have Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, and he clashed with Charles Oakley and Ron Artest, too.

USC fired Henry Bibby on Dec. 6 -- just four games into the season.

Majerus resigned five days after being hired, claiming his health and fitness weren't up to the demands of the job. He was going to do recruiting for USC for the rest of this season, then take over full coaching duties in April.

USC freshman Nick Young said the players saw the news on ESPN before the team's 77-68 loss at Arizona Thursday night.

"Coaches have just been coming in and out," he said. "So we don't want to get our hopes up too much. You just don't know. Right now we are cool with coach Saia."

Saia said he heard of the hiring from the school's sports information director before the game.

"He is a great hire," Saia said. "Whatever I can do to help him build the program, I will do."

The Trojans, 2-2 when Bibby was fired, are 5-6 under Saia after Thursday night's loss at Arizona.

During his four years at Iowa State, Floyd guided the team to three consecutive 20-win seasons, the first coach in the school's history to do so. The Cyclones went 22-9 in 1996-97 and made it to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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