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Eric Musselman says it was ‘super hard’ to leave Arkansas

On3 imageby:Sam Gillenwater06/10/24


USC head coach Eric Musselman on what to expect in 2024

Not all transitions from one job to another are easy ones. That was the case for Eric Musselman this offseason in deciding to leave Arkansas to take the head coaching role at USC.

Musselman discussed his choice to leave Fayetteville for Los Angeles during a recent interview on ‘College Hoops Today’ with CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein. He said it was a very difficult decision to leave the Razorbacks considering where it ranks among the best in all of college basketball.

“Yeah, super hard,” said Musselman. “You know, I understood, my family understood, and our staff understood that the University of Arkansas basketball job is one of the very, very best in the country – historically and at the current time.”

“We left a great job,” said Musselman.

There’s a professional aspect of that process that we all know about. What we don’t see, though, is the personal side of it. Musselman explained that a bit in regards to his family and the toll that that has taken as well.

“My wife and daughter are still in Fayetteville. Heading this way later on this week to permanently move here,” Musselman said. “The family situation? They have great friends in northwest Arkansas. So it’s not only leaving a job but you’re also leaving friends that you’ve met. It’s hard.”

However, after five seasons with the ‘Hogs, Musselman hopes he added another successful chapter in program history. His 111 wins there and three consecutive trips to at least the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament will join their record books and hopefully be remembered well as the school continues on under new leadership.

“You look back at the winning with Nolan Richardson and Eddie Sutton. There have been historical wins and historical seasons,” said Musselman. “We felt like, in the five years that we were there, some great things happened from a winning standpoint, from NCAA Tournament and March Madness runs. Then from guys getting drafted.”

It wasn’t easy for Musselman to leave Arkansas for Hollywood. Still, it was the perfect selection for him at this point of his career and has now given him a lot to look forward to as his next stop.

USC is the right place at the right time, both professionally and personally,” Musselman stated. “The USC brand is really, really special as well from an academic standpoint. It’s a special place as well.”

“It’s hard to change jobs but there’s also a ton of excitement in it as well,” said Musselman.