The University of Southern California could be going back to the FGCU well.
FGCU women’s basketball coach Karl Smesko has been offered the head coaching position at USC, according to reports from SB Nation women’s basketball affiliate Swish Appeal.
Swish Appeal’s Mike Robinson reported early Thursday morning, citing anonymous sources, that the Trojans offered the job to Smesko, after FGCU’s program founding coach was flown out to Los Angeles for a visit earlier this week.
When asked Thursday about the situation, Smesko said “no comment at this time” by text message.
Smesko is 404-82 in 15 seasons at FGCU, dating back to the program’s genesis ahead of the 2002-03 season. Since moving to Division I in 2007, the Eagles are 271-61 with seven Atlantic Sun regular-season titles and four NCAA Tournament appearances in six years of tournament eligibility.
The USC job has been open for nearly a month now, with former coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke resigning at the end of the season after going 70-57 in four seasons.
According to the Swish Appeal report, Smesko and Long Beach State coach Jody Wynn are the apparent frontrunners for the position. Last week, USC was rebuffed by their first pick, Stanford assistant Kate Paye.
This isn’t the first time that Smesko has been targeted for a job by a larger school. Smesko interviewed for jobs with Indiana and Illinois in 2014, and Oregon State in 2008. He has long said that he would only consider leaving FGCU for a program which he believed could compete for a national championship.
This also isn’t the first time that USC has come knocking on FGCU’s door. The Trojans hired former FGCU men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield in 2013, just days after Enfield lead the “Dunk City” Eagles to the Sweet 16 as a No. 15 seed – the first time the feat had ever been achieved.
Since becoming NCAA Tournament Eligible in 2011-12
2016-17 26-9 (12-2), NCAA First Round (L 62-60 #4 Miami)
2015-16 33-6 (14-0), WNIT Runner-Up
2014-15 31-3 (14-0), NCAA Second Round (W 75-67 #10 Oklahoma St, L 65-47 #2 Florida St)
2013-14 26-8 (17-1), NCAA First Round (L 61-60 #5 Oklahoma St)
2012-13 27-7 (18-0), WNIT First Round
2011-12 29-3 (18-0), NCAA First Round (L 72-65 #5 St. Bonaventure)
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