USC assistant coaches let go

Two of USC Coach Michael Cooper’s three assistant coaches have been let go from the program.

Ervin Monier and Kelley Gibson’s contracts have not been renewed and they won’t return for the 2010-2011 season, said women’s basketball spokeswoman Darcy Couch, who explained that the move was “a coach’s decision.”

No replacement coaches have been named. Assistant coach Mary Wooley remains on staff.

The move was surprising in that this season’s results—19-12 overall, 12-6 in Pac-10 play—represented a marked improvement from last year’s 17-15, 9-9 finish. Indeed, the last time the Ladies of Troy finished with more than 17 games in the win column was 2005-06, when they ended 19-12, 11-7, but still did not make the field for the NCAA Tournament.

Monier, who was associate head coach, came aboard last summer and acted as head coach while Cooper finished out his final year as head of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. He was often a vocal presence along the sidelines.

Monier had high school and junior college coaching experience in the Los Angeles area before becoming assistant head coach at Temple University under Dawn Staley. He then moved on to become the associate head coach at Rhode Island for five years.

Gibson played basketball for the University of Maryland, and was on the Houston Comets’ roster from 2000-2004. Before coming to USC, she was assistant coach at the University of Maine.

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  1. Interesting! No comment! They fire the man who does the job – and keep the man who doesn't do the job! Fight On! Sad!

  2. Wow! I can't believe Coop let these coaches go. Monier was practically doing his job for him. And how do you let go of a coach who also has international and WNBA experience as a player? The only thing I can think of is that Coop feels threatened.

  3. Sue,

    Do you expect all of $c's verbal commits to honor their commitments and sign at this point, or might this open the door for any of them to reconsider other programs (*cough*UCLA*cough*)?

    Don't personally know Monier, but I still feel kinda bad for him in this, though. Basically, it's: "Thanks for coaching the team at a fraction of my salary while I hung with the Sparks and then came late and sulked on the sidelines. Oh by the way, you're fired."

    Patrick Meighan
    UCLA Class of '95

  4. Too bad for those two. They worked hard while Cooper wasn't even there (7th ranked recruiting class). Check Monier's coaching history though. What has he ever done? Cooper is a proven winner. Cooper is notoriously quiet on the sidelines, doing most of his coaching in practice (John Wooden + Phil Jackson). Cooper has 8 championships. Monier and Gibson have 0 combined. U$C is not the place for me, but it's clear Cooper knows what he's doing. Monier has a history of being fired. Why is everybody so high on Monier?

  5. Cooper has "zero" college championships, no past college coaching or recruiting experience . . . can't even get to the post season with four McDonald's All-Americans "playing" this year, plus two seniors from the #1 recruiting class, plus other talent, while competing in this year's weak Pac-10 (except for Stanford). What he does have is a "big name" from being a player for the Showtime Lakers. Paul Westhead at Oregon took last year's 9-win Ducks team to 18 wins this year, while increasing scoring average from 56 pts/ game to 82 (which had them as the #1 scoring team in college, even surpassing UConn and Stanford for most of the year). MC struggled last year with the Sparks even though he had a roster loaded with some of the "best players in the world". He had one of the worst records in WNBA history in the season that he had to deal with injuries (10 wins . . . ). He's had the "best" players and assistants in WNBA championship years. He also has a fat wallet from the guaranteed long-term contract with USC, so even if he lost every single game this year, the Trojans would be stuck with him for at least a few years. He didn't know the names of his assistant coaches in his first press conference, and soon thereafter, ended up getting reprimanded by the Pac-10 for his unwarranted expletive which came out of nowhere, after a UCLA game. He has been bad-mouthing and getting into shouting matches with his assistants in front of players all season, while also cussing out some of his players . . . so much for role model and leadership for a women's college program . . .

  6. btw, in 2005/2006, the WOT were 19 – 12 AND "made it" to the Dance, getting to the second round of the NCAA tournament in consecutive years, against Duke, after defeating South Florida in the first round . . . Fight On !

  7. It's pretty obvious "anonymous" has an issue with Coach Cooper. The UCLA post game comment aside, I think Mike Garrett hit a homerun with this hire. How do you get college experience without being given an opportunity? I appreciate the fact Coop enjoys coaching women. He has turned down numerous offers to return to the NBA. His WNBA assistants during his championship years were promoted from video coordinator and equipment manager the year prior to the back-to-back run. They both left for Houston and were promptly fired after 3 seasons…still unemployed. If you had a chance to see the Trojans play this year (which I doubt based on your comments), you would have noticed they only had 7 players. Injuries and walk-ons filled the end of the bench. They were picked to finish 6th in the Pac-10 in the preseason (finishing 3rd). Last years team was much deeper and more talented, with a far easier schedule and they couldn't produce the results of the 2010 team. The "all-americans" you are talking about: (1) Jackie Gemelos played her first game in four years, obviously not even at 50%. (2) Stefanie Gilbreath- out for the year. (3) Briana Gilbreath and (4)Ashley Corral both had their best seasons as Trojans. (5) Christina Marinacci's improvement under Cooper was obvious, breaking into the starting lineup by year's end. And who are you referring to by the seniors from the #1 recruiting class? Aarika Hughes, Heather Oliver and Hailey Dunham? I'm sure they will not be missed. All three were given minutes, to be outplayed by the younger players. Did you actually attend any games this year? Regarding Oregon's improvement– Westhead is known to have great offenses, but take a look at his defensive numbers and get back to me. I would much rather have a team that wins games than one that's fun to watch. Ask Oregon fans! Back to Coop — it seems as if it's pure hate that is fueling your comments. I hope that's not the case. Either way, the Bruins are going to beat up on the Trojans again next year!

  8. Rashanda it's obvious that you are a Coop fan, but the laker days are over… His name got him hired not his coaching. Nikki Caldwell, Tara V, Paul Westhead, JoAnn Boyle, all out coached him – all. Do you deny that? No, honestly do you deny that? Did you watch the games. No did you watch the games. They lost to Washington St at home… Cooper looked just liked he looked with the Sparks —Clueless! Two pass/ pick and roll offense Down 15 playing man to man with 4 minutes to go… Clueless! He had 3 olympians and couldn't win with the sparks—count them 3— and make no mistake his sparks contract was not going to be renewed—and I am not sure where you get the idea that he has turned down NBA jobs—he hasn't been offered any and he won't ever be offered any. Never! He can't coach and Mr. Garrett old senseless mind will so find out. What he did was totally tactless and administration let him. It's obvious you don't know what you are talking about in speaking about the coaches—-I don't know them—but I know what you said is incorrect. Do your research and stop being goo-goo eyed of Cooper— they fired him in Denver and they will fire him at SC… He's a disgrace! USC is Classless in this matter—The Bruins will continue to own them—They got a top 7 class in america— no recruit said Coop recruited them because he didn't. This is his last Job. I wouldn't want him coaching my daughter! He's the worst, his truth will be revealed… I hear he hired his son who has 0 coaching experience—0— that's 0—Monier won Championships at Temple and recruited two first round draft picks and 1 top 5 kid in America… Gibson won championships with the Houston Comets—He gives them up for his son? How long is he going to change JR's Diaper? USC i guess is a family organization…. Kiflig got daddy around to change his diaper and his brother… what the is going on? Well, at least the elder Kiflin is a proven coach… what has coop son done… I hope that's a rumor…
    Rashanda….really now— I just saw this and I got to put my name to this—

  9. Hey it's like this…..Cooper is a good WNBA coach, and was an ok player back in his days. However this is the 21st Century and the truth is he has no experience at the D1 level and didn't even play D1 ball he came into college at the JC level. I hear that he has built his own dream team staff which non of them have more experience than himself….GO FIGURE.. Oh M. Wooley has one year which Monier gave her. He should have atleast kept someone under him that has experience to back him up because he is definitely going to screw up. His mouth will get him into trouble and Mike Garrett is not going to be there to protect him. Oh yea he inherited the all americans and USA players that he has. He didn't win games for the sparks the sparks made him look good