If Tim Floyd Leaves UTEP For USC, The Miners Would Be Devastated
I guess some of us should not be surprised that UTEP men's basketball head coach Tim Floyd recently spent three hours meeting with USC Athletic Director Pat Hayden. The twp discussed the Trojans basketball job opening and Floyd was quoted in the Chicago Tribune that the meeting went "very well." There is a very good chance Floyd will get a second chance to coach at USC. Even if he does not get the job, his days at UTEP could be numbered and the Miners basketball program will suffer. Floyd made it known that he is looking for another big coaching job in college basketball. Even if Haden does not bring Floyd back to Southern California, another Athletic Director will jump at the same opportunity.
Since Floyd returned to the place where he first coached under Don Haskins, his teams have been good but not as great as advertised. In 2010, UTEP led Memphis in the C-USA Tournament Championship and was just minutes away from returning to the Big Dance. Instead, a horrible collapse in the late stages of the game sent the Miners to Albuquerque and a quick early exit from the NIT. The last two seasons at UTEP have been a rebuilding for Floyd. His teams are competitive, but lack the consistency of an upper tier mid major college basketball program. Many fans thought that next year's team would change all of that, when McDonald's All American Isaac Hamilton would play his first game at the Don Haskins Center. Without Floyd at UTEP, Hamilton and other top recruits could bail out on the program and follow him to Southern California.
The biggest losers in all of this are the Miner fans. They have slowly started coming back to the Haskins Center and given the arena more life and energy. The students have been consistent and everyone was comparing this era of Miner basketball to the early 80's when The Bear and a younger assistant named Floyd were transforming the program into a powerhouse. Without the main architect of that Miner renaissance roaming the sidelines, the UTEP basketball team's development could be set back another five years. More importantly, Miner fans will have to get over the sting of another bad break-up, but this time involving a coach that many El Pasoans have considered to be like family.