Kevin O'Neill was dismissed Monday as head coach of the Trojans' men's basketball team after nearly four years and a 48-65 record.
USC is 7-10 and coming off a 6-26 season. The Trojans have lost nine of their last 13 games.
"It was hard for me to evaluate him as a head coach until this year when he had enough players and veterans to compete," said USC Athletic Director Pat Haden, noting that 2012 was plagued by injuries. "As the season progressed, it became evident to me that we needed new leadership in our men's basketball program. Despite a nice road win in our last game, I felt it was best to make a change now, with most of the Pac-12 season still ahead of us, in order to re-energize our team."
Assistant coach Bob Cantu was named interim head coach during the search for O'Neill's successor.
USC snapped a 14-game road losing streak with a win at Utah.
Cantu is in his 12th season as a member of the Trojans' coaching staff.
The Trojans play Oregon at home Jan. 17 before hosting Oregon State Jan. 19.