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Michael Cooper resigns as women's basketball coach at USC

Cooper is out after the Trojans finished an 11-20 season. Athletic Director Pat Haden says, 'We should be competing for Pac-12 championships and NCAA bids.'

March 14, 2013|From staff reports

Add another vacancy sign to the USC athletic offices.

Michael Cooper is the latest head coach to step down. USC announced his resignation as women's basketball coach Wednesday in a news release quoting Athletic Director Pat Haden as saying, "We believe we should be competing for Pac-12 championships and NCAA bids on a consistent basis. We will conduct a search to find the right person to help us do that."

Haden fired men's basketball coach Kevin O'Neill and baseball coach Frank Cruz in the last couple of months.

Cooper had a record of 72-57 in four years at USC, but the Trojans swooned to 11-20 this season. "This program has to move forward, and it should have moved forward under my leadership. The best thing is for me to step down," Cooper said in a statement.

Before coming to USC, Cooper coached the Sparks in two stints covering eight seasons, qualifying for the WNBA playoffs seven times, winning five Western Conference titles and two league championships.

Cooper also spent one season as an assistant and interim head coach of the Denver Nuggets. He spent seven years with the Lakers as an assistant coach and special assistant to then-General Manager Jerry West. As a player, he spent 12 seasons with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships.

sports@latimes.com

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