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Ex-USC Coach Says He Was Pushed Aside

TIMES STAFF WRITER

No one had to spell it out for Jim Bush. He knew he wasn’t wanted.

And so, shortly after Ron Allice was hired as director of USC’s recently consolidated men’s and women’s track program in June, Bush resigned after four years as coach of the Trojan men’s track team.

“I was supposed to be the head coach and they hired another man and made him the head coach--and there’s no way you can have two head coaches with two different philosophies,” said Bush, whose resignation was announced last week. “I felt in fairness to Ron Allice that it would be best if I just resigned. I’m not happy about it, but that’s life.

“You just can’t have two head coaches. I’ve never heard of anything like that. I think I was being shoved down to assistant.”

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Bush, 67, was absent for three weeks of practice last season after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer in February, but said the health problems he has experienced played no part in his decision.

“If anybody says that, they’re not telling the truth,” he said. “If I could do the job I did last year, when I was really beat up, then I can certainly do it when I’m in good shape.

“I’m in better shape now than I’ve been in 15 years. I made up my mind if I couldn’t coach, I was going to get in the best shape possible and I was going to match my age for pushups, and I’ve done 67 pushups.”

In all probability, though, Bush’s coaching days are past. He was credited with reviving USC’s program, guiding the Trojans to third place in the 1992 NCAA meet and 10th place this year. He enjoyed his greatest success at UCLA, where his teams won five NCAA titles.

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“I think this pretty well sealed it for me,” said Bush, a 1987 inductee into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.

“It’s not the way I wanted it to end, but I don’t think I’ll ever coach again.”


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