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Former New Mexico State hoops coach Trakh retires from USC

Southern California head coach Mark Trakh, left, and Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer speak following an NCAA college basketball game in the second round of the Pac-12 women’s tournament Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

LOS ANGELES  — Mark Trakh is retiring as Southern California women’s basketball coach after four years at the helm in his second stint with the school.

Trakh, who also coached at New Mexico State from 2011-17, turns 66 next month. His overall record of 155-114 is second in program history behind Linda Sharp.

“I can’t imagine a more optimal time for all of us to embrace a fresh start,” he said Wednesday in a statement.

USC finished 11-12 overall and eighth in the Pac-12 with an 8-10 mark this season. Four games were canceled due to COVID-19 issues.

Trakh had a 65-50 record in his second stint with USC. His first tenure from 2005-09 produced a 90-64 mark, including two NCAA Tournament appearances, before he resigned for personal reasons.

In 26 years as a college head coach, including 11 seasons (1994-2004) at Pepperdine and six (2012-17) at New Mexico State, he posted a 458-317 mark (.591).

New Mexico State women’s basketball head coach Mark Trakh led his team to the Western Athletic Conference title in 2016. (Andres Leighton/For the Albuquerque Journal)

Trakh was 104-80 with three straight Western Athletic Conference Tournament championships in six seasons at NMSU. The Aggies were 40-2 in the WAC regular season his past three years.

USC athletic director Mike Bohn said a national search for a new coach would begin immediately.