USC mum on 46-day-old coach search

GalenCenter.org file photo.
GalenCenter.org 2016 file photo.

Arguably the longest-standing search for a new college head coach this year is at the University of Southern California.

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke stepped down March 3 after four years at the helm, and the position remains unfilled. One coach publicly turned down USC’s offer last week, while others have been rumored to be candidates for the job. The University is saying little about the situation.

“USC is conducting a search for a women’s basketball head coach. Once the process is complete, the hiring will be announced publicly,” a spokesperson for the school said. “USC does not publicly discuss the specifics of hiring procedures.”

After a successful first year under Cooper-Dyke, the Trojans have languished the last three seasons in the wake of player transfers, academic disqualifications and lack of on-court cohesion. Florida Gulf Coast coach Karl Smesko declined USC’s offer for the job last week. Cardinal assistant coach Kate Paye declared on social media earlier this month that she was “at Stanford to stay” after rumors circulated that she was a candidate.

USC’s salary for the position isn’t available through public records, as it is a private institution. Coach pay throughout the Pac-12 varies widely.

Oregon coach Kelly Graves just signed a new six-year contract that pays him a base $500,000 annually. Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne currently earns $464,000 per year. UCLA did not respond to salary disclosure requests, but coach Cori Close was reported to be making $441,000 in 2013. New Washington coach Jody Wynn begins her tenure with a $400,000 salary.

Oregon State coach Scott Rueck earns $385,000 annually, while Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb, under new contract, now brings in $360,000. Utah coach Lynne Roberts makes $275 per year, and Washington State coach June Daugherty was earning $251,000 in 2013. Arizona coach Adia Barnes’ salary is $235,000, and Colorado coach JR Payne’s is $175,000.

Stanford is also a private school, and the school won’t disclose longtime coach Tara VanDerveer’s annual earnings. But a 2015 SFGate piece said she makes $155,905.

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