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NEW ORLEANS ― Hornets lead assistant Tim Floyd is moving on after less than a full season in the NBA as an assistant coach, taking over as University Texas of El Paso's head coach.

The Hornets confirmed the move in an afternoon press release.

'We are excited for Tim and wish him nothing but success in his new endeavor,' General Manager and Head Coach Jeff Bower said. 'He has been a great asset as the lead assistant coach and for all of us at the Hornets. He excels at teaching the game and is a perfect fit for a storied program like UTEP.'

Added Hornets President Hugh Weber, 'Tim is a fine coach and we know that he will succeed at UTEP. He is a proven winner, a great person and we thank him for his time at the Hornets.'

Floyd left USC in 2009 amid allegations of recruiting violations involving O.J. Mayo. Floyd has denied any wrongdoing and has said he expects to be cleared in an ongoing NCAA investigation.

He was an assistant to UTEP's late coach Don Haskins from 1978-86 and has also coached at Idaho, New Orleans, Iowa State, the Chicago Bulls and the Hornets. He returned to college basketball in 2005 with USC, where he was 85-50.

Bower called upon his long-time friend to be his lead assistant when he took over for Byron Scott, who was fired fewer than 10 games into the 2009-10 NBA season.

Floyd recently said he wasn't ready to retire and friend Ron Maestri, who hired him to coach UNO's basketball team in the late 1980s, said he expected his colleague to get back into head coaching, possibly in college, sooner rather than later.

- Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report

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