STILLWATER — Oklahoma State already served as a launching pad for one recent offensive coordinator's successful head coaching leap to Southern Miss.
Now it's Todd Monken's turn to jump.
Confirming reports from the Hattiesburg American, a source close to Monken has confirmed that the Cowboys offensive coordinator will be announced Tuesday as the next head coach at Southern Miss, ending his two-year run at OSU.
Southern Miss has scheduled a press conference for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, where Monken is expected to be introduced.
The source said that Monken will not coach the Cowboys in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Jan. 1, but instead will immediately start working on building a staff and engaging in recruiting for the Golden Eagles, who finished 0-12 this season, resulting in the firing of coach Ellis Johnson.
It's not clear how OSU will handle play-calling duties in the bowl game. Mike Gundy has called plays before as head coach, yet hasn't been as involved in game planning since relinquishing those duties following the 2009 season. Other possibilities: offensive line coach Joe Wickline, wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn, inside receivers coach Doug Meacham and running backs coach Jemal Singleton.
Southern Miss successfully tapped the Cowboys staff in 2007, hiring then-offensive coordinator Larry Fedora, who directed the four most prolific offensive seasons in the school's history, as well as four bowl appearances.
Monken interviewed for the Southern Miss job a year ago, when Fedora left after four seasons to become the coach at North Carolina, but the school went instead with Johnson, who had been the defensive coordinator at South Carolina.
After a winless season that included an 0-8 run through Conference USA, Johnson was fired, opening the position and resulting in a double-back to Monken by Southern Miss officials, who interviewed him again over the weekend.
Monken will actually be the third former Cowboys offensive coordinator coach the Golden Eagles, joining Fedora and Jeff Bower, who spent 17 years as the program's head coach and was named the “Coach of the Decade” by Conference USA in 2004. Bower served as Pat Jones' offensive coordinator with the Cowboys in 1989.
At OSU, Monken kept the Cowboys near the top of the NCAA rankings in offense, despite drastically different situations in his two seasons.
Taking over for Dana Holgorsen in 2011 and inheriting a ready-made offense that featured Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon – a pair of NFL first-round draft choices – Monken's offense set single-season school records for points scored, touchdowns scored, first downs, pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards, completion percentage, touchdown passes, yards per play and third-down conversions. The Cowboys scored more than 50 points in six games, eclipsing 60 points three times.
Nationally, that team ranked second in scoring offense and passing offense, and third in total offense.
This season, Monken kept the offense rolling, despite injuries that required three quarterbacks to start games and robbed the team of its planned go-to receiver, Tracy Moore. Still, OSU enters the bowl game ranked No. 4 in scoring offense, No. 5 in passing offense, No. 5 in total offense, No. 22 in rushing offense and tied for No. 1 in yards per play.
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Staff Writer Gina Mizell contributed to this report