Kurtis Townsend, previously an assistant coach at Michigan, California and Eastern Kentucky, was named an assistant with the USC men's basketball program on July 11, 2001. He is in his second season with the Trojans.
Before coming to USC, Townsend, 44, spent three seasons (1999-2001) as an assistant at Michigan. The Wolverines participated in the 2000 NIT.
One of the top recruiters in college basketball, Townsend has either coached or recruited numerous NBA players. Among them are Jason Kidd, Lamond Murray, Tremaine Fowlkes, Shareef Abdul-Rahim, Ed Gray, Sean Marks, Michael Stewart, Jamal Crawford and Lou Bullock.
He was at Eastern Kentucky in 1998 following four seasons (1994-97) at California. The Golden Bears played in three NCAA Tournaments (1994-96-97), including a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in 1997.
Townsend began his coaching career on the high school level in San Jose, Calif. He served as an assistant at Leland High (1985-87) and Del Mar High (1988-89) before becoming the head coach at Leigh High for two seasons (1990-91) and at Willow Glen High for two seasons (1992-93). As a prep head coach, his teams won league championships all four years. He led Leigh to a section title and Willow Glen advanced to the semifinals of the state section tourney both seasons.
For three summers during his time in San Jose, he also served as the head coach of the Bay Pride pro-am team, made up of college and pro standouts, including Brian Shaw and Gary Payton.
Townsend was a point guard at Western Kentucky for two seasons (1979-80). The 1980 Hilltoppers won the Ohio Valley Conference title and played in the NCAA tourney. He received his bachelor's degree from WKU in 1982.
He then played the 1981 season in the CBA for the Montana Golden Nuggets.
Townsend was an All-Conference point guard at Camden High in San Jose, then earned 1978 All-American honorable mention and All-State first team honors at Menlo Junior College in Menlo Park, Calif.
He has five children, Tanika, Marques, Keisha and two infants, Kaliyah and Myka.
His older brother, Raymond, lettered in basketball for four seasons (1975-78) at UCLA, playing guard on the Bruins' 1975 NCAA championship squad and earning All-Conference honors in 1978, before spending three years in the NBA.