Eric Musselman had a good week, parlaying reported interest in the Arizona job into a five-year extension that’ll pay him $4 million a year. It may also have been a good week for Musselman’s alma mater. Included in the updated contract was a provision that removes any buyout requirement after 2024, so long as Musselman takes over San Diego.
So what do the Toreros have to do with an SEC coach being rewarded with a run to the Elite Eight?
In the stuffy world of legal negotiations and parsing every word down to the bone, Musselman was able to fit in some fun. The Razorbacks coach played for the Toreros from 1983-87, being a part of USD’s only two WCC — then WCAC — regular season title-winning teams. As it turned out, he figured he’d throw some love to the Toreros.
Muss on the SD clause: "A nod to my alma mater. My group text, no one thought I'd actually put that in there, some guys are going to owe me some burritos."— Nikki Chavanelle (@NikkiChavanelle) April 14, 2021
It can only be assumed that burrito would be a California burrito, an amount of carb intake that would fit Musselman’s sideline demeanor.
In any case, Musselman’s connection to the USD as a head coach was once more than just a wink and a nod. He was reportedly in the mix for the job when he was an LSU assistant in 2015, but ultimately landed at Nevada on a path that would take him to the Sweet 16 in Reno and, eventually, an Elite Eight in Fayetteville.
The son of a coach, it was apparently evident to at least one reporter during Musselman’s playing days that he was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps.
I remember discussing basketball weekly with Eric Musselman when he was a reserve guard at USD and I was covering the team. He was 19 and knew the game inside out. Even had scouting reports on who the Toreros were playing. Sometimes gave me heads up tips during games.— Bill Center (@billcenter) March 22, 2021
Is it possible Musselman could once again draw up scouting reports on USD opponents? He seems well set at the one of the SEC’s premier programs, especially after an offseason of reeling in yet another group of impact transfers. Despite the extension, he would seemingly remain a hot name for any transcendent jobs that open and, with his NBA coaching past, may want another shot up a level.
But perhaps one day the stars align and Musselman does in fact don the navy, white and Torero blue once again. Come 2024 at least, it’ll be a bit easier.