Lincoln Riley, Andy Enfield, other USC coaches issue statements on Big Ten move
In 2024, USC will depart the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten.
The move, announced this past Thursday, sent shockwaves through the sport. The Trojans are championing the move as the best possible path for USC to follow as it looks out for its best interests. The Big Ten will reportedly offer a $100 million-a-year payout for both USC and UCLA, a massive influx of capital that will no doubt help USC with facility renovations, salary pools for coaches and assistants, and a host of other things.
That money will help USC remain competitive for national titles, the Trojans say.
On Sunday, six of USC’s top head coaches issued statements praising the move. Here’s what each had to say:
Football head coach Lincoln Riley:
“President Folt, Mike Bohn and Brandon Sosna have been completely aligned with the vision of what our athletic department can be, while always putting our student-athletes first. This move to the Big Ten Conference positions all of our teams for long-term success. It provides our student-athletes with more exposure, new resources and challenges them with elite competition. USC Football is excited to compete in the Big Ten.”
Men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield:
“Although we have great history and successes within the Pac-12, the move to the Big Ten provides a greatly increased platform and more opportunities for our student-athletes and our program. USC has always had a national brand and this move will give our players enhanced exposure and a presence across the entire country. It will also create exciting new rivalries, while maintaining our great crosstown rivalry with UCLA.”
Women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb:
“This move is a bold one that will create unprecedented opportunities for our student-athletes to have exposure and competition from coast to coast. There’s no question that the USC brand is one of the most powerful in the country, and this is a university that is willing to make groundbreaking change. I look forward to our women’s basketball players having a new and exciting future.”
Women’s volleyball coach Brad Keller:
“This is an exciting time for our program even though it comes with some bittersweet undertones. I grew up around and have worked many years within the Pac-12’s footprint and for Pac-12 schools, so it is a conference that is near and dear to me. However, the opportunities and competition that this move to the Big Ten affords our student-athletes is truly exhilarating. We’ve long held the highest standards in both academics and athletics for our program and feel strongly that the Big Ten is a great match for the student-athlete experience we aim to provide. In the end, it is about the student-athlete and the growth of the young women we are charged with coaching, so it is exciting to see the commitment that our administration has made to further those goals through this move.”
Track and field/cross country director Quincy Watts:
“It’s a new day and age, and I’m excited to be joining the Big Ten and all the opportunities it will provide for our student-athletes. We look forward to the enhanced exposure for our program and our great university.”
Men’s and women’s swim coach Lea Maurer:
“I’ve spent a lot of my life competing and coaching in the Pac-12, so this change is emotional for me. I’m excited to see what things will look like in the Big Ten; new places, new people and new rivalries that will motivate and energize me and my team. We get to write a new chapter for Trojan swimming and diving, and we can’t wait to get started.”