Morningside High girls' basketball Coach Frank Scott, who guided the Lady Monarchs to the last two state Division I titles, said Saturday it is almost certain he will resign to become an assistant coach for the USC women's team.
"It's a safe bet to say that I will be leaving at the end of the summer league," he said, following Morningside's 44-40 victory over Lynwood in the quarterfinals of the L.A. Games at Locke High.
"I'll probably sign a contract with (USC). I haven't told the girls that I'm definitely leaving. I just told them I'll make my decision at the end of the summer league. But I'm pretty set on it."
Scott, who has coached the Morningside girls for 10 seasons, said he was offered a part-time assistant's job by USC Coach Marianne Stanley. He said he passed up a chance to sign a contract with USC at the end of the school year so he could coach Morningside this summer. The Lady Monarchs' summer league season ends Aug. 8.
Stanley, who is coaching a U.S. women's basketball team in Europe, could not be reached for comment. But USC officials confirmed that the part-time assistant's job is open.
If Scott does get the job, it means he will be reunited with Lisa Leslie. The 6-5 Morningside All-American signed a letter of intent with USC in May.
Scott denied it was a package deal.
"A lot of people have said I'm getting the job because of Lisa Leslie," he said. "If I delivered Lisa, I'd have a job. But (the job) was offered to me long before Lisa signed a letter of intent."
Scott, who will remain a teacher at Morningside, said the USC job pays around $20,000. He receives a $1,000 stipend for coaching the Morningside girls' team.
"It's going to be a challenge," he said. "I've always wanted to try this before. I think if I don't jump at this opportunity right now, I don't think I ever will."
In the last decade, Scott has established himself as one of the nation's most successful coaches. His Morningside teams have won eight consecutive league titles, including 88 victories in a row, and four CIF-Southern Section major division titles, including the last three.
"I think I've done just about all I can do on the high school level," he said.
Scott said there are "five or six" people who have expressed interest in taking over the Morningside girls' program. One of the hopefuls is Ron Randle, co-coach of the successful Morningside boys' basketball team.
"I'm just looking for an opportunity to be out there for myself," said Randle, who coaches the Morningside boys' team with Carl Franklin. "If that opportunity comes, I would love to get it."
Randle was an assistant coach for the Santa Monica College women's team in the 1985-86 season.
Said Scott: "Right now, Ron Randle will probably be the leading candidate for the job."