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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    O’Neill expected to get job in NBA with Memphis

    Former UA interim head coach Kevin O’Neill isn’t doing much fundraising for the Arizona athletic program.

    The Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal reported Wednesday that O’Neill should be hired by the Memphis Grizzlies under head coach Marc Iavaroni.

    An announcement is expected soon.

    O’Neill, who has NBA coaching experience as a head coach and an assistant coach before coming to Arizona last season, will join the Grizzlies’ staff as a defensive guru to help one of the league’s worst teams on defense the past two seasons.

    UA head coach Lute Olson announced at his April 1 press conference that O’Neill would not be part of his staff next season. On April 23, O’Neill was removed from the UA men’s basketball program and reassigned to a fundraising position within the athletic department. He was to “”assist”” UA athletics director Jim Livengood for the remainder of the fiscal year, which runs through June 30.

    “”After June 30, Kevin and I will sit down and decide what’s next,”” Livengood told the Daily Wildcat on April 23.

    Looks like O’Neill’s already decided.

    It was officially announced on May 12 that former UA assistant coach Josh Pastner was leaving Arizona to take an assistant coaching position at Memphis under head coach John Calipari.

    What’s more, NBA-bound Jerryd Bayless is projected to be chosen anywhere from third to sixth in June’s NBA draft. The Memphis Grizzlies, who went 22-60 last season, have the No. 5 pick.

    O’Neill led Arizona to a 19-15 record in Olson’s absence last season, along with the school’s 24th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, the nation’s longest active streak.

    O’Neill has not returned a phone call from the Daily Wildcat .

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