REPORT: Arkansas men's basketball coach Eric Musselman interviewing for Southern Cal opening

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman walks off the court, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, following the Tennessee Volunteers’ 92-63 win over the Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. (Hank Layton/NWA Democrat-Gazette)

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas men’s basketball coach Eric Musselman is interviewing for the head coaching vacancy at Southern Cal on Wednesday, according to a report from WeAreSC.com. 

Musselman is the first candidate to reportedly have an interview scheduled. Former Trojans coach Andy Enfield was announced as head coach at SMU on Monday. USC went 15-18 this season and will play its first season as a Big Ten team in 2024-25.

The Razorbacks have reached heights they hadn’t seen since the 1990s under Musselman, with two Elite Eight appearances and another Sweet 16 in his five seasons. 

[POLL: Will Musselman leave for USC?]

Questions about Musselman’s future have been swirling throughout the past month, with Louisville and SMU reportedly interested in his services.

Musselman has a 111-59 record in five seasons as Arkansas’ coach. The Razorbacks are coming off of a season in which they finished 16-17 overall and 6-12 in SEC play and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time under Musselman. 

Arkansas advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 2021 and 2022. The Razorbacks advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2023. 

No NCAA Tournament was played in Musselman’s first season at Arkansas.

Musselman has an NCAA Tournament record of 8-3 at Arkansas with wins over a pair of No. 1-seeded teams, Gonzaga in 2022 and Kansas in 2023. The Razorbacks’ postseason runs were all ended by Final Four participants, including eventual national champions Baylor in 2021 and Connecticut in 2023.  

Musselman was hired in April 2019 and last signed a contract extension in April 2021 following the first Elite Eight run. After subsequent postseason runs triggered extensions and pay raises, that contract runs through the 2027-28 season at an annual salary of $4.2 million.

He joined the Razorbacks following a successful four-year stint with Nevada.

Musselman has strong ties to the Southern California area, having grown up in San Diego and attended University of San Diego. 

The news of Musselman’s USC interview comes one day after Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek appeared on the 1 Star Recruits Podcast and discussed the men’s basketball coach’s future. Yurachek said there was not a new contract in place for Musselman this year.

“He’s still the basketball coach as we sit here today and record this podcast at the University of Arkansas,” Yurachek said on the podcast. “This may change tomorrow, you’ll have to ask Coach Musselman that. We very much want him to be an Arkansas Razorback.”

Musselman’s interview comes as the Razorbacks have been active in the transfer portal. Arkansas’ staff has contacted more than 70 players who have entered the portal with one commitment from Massachusetts’ Josh Cohen. The rebuilding efforts came following five players from last season entering the transfer portal and five others exhausting their eligibility.

Matt Jones contributed.