Southern Miss hires Todd Monken as head coach

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm •  Published: December 11, 2012
Advertisement
;

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Southern Mississippi raided Oklahoma State for a football coach five years ago.

It worked so well, the Golden Eagles are trying it again.

Southern Miss introduced Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken as its new football coach Tuesday, confident that the 46-year-old can return the Golden Eagles to their winning ways after the worst season in school history.

"You want high expectations," Monken said. "You want to be at a place where winning is expected. And this is one of those places. This is a new era of Southern Miss football. You've had that history and tradition — hit what I call a one-year speed bump — but I'm looking with great confidence to the future and not looking back."

Monken comes to the Golden Eagles after two successful seasons leading the Cowboys' high-scoring offense, which is averaging nearly 45 points this season. He will not coach with Oklahoma State at the Heart of Dallas bowl on Jan. 1, instead starting his job in Hattiesburg immediately.

There's plenty of work to be done.

Monken replaces Ellis Johnson, who was fired Nov. 27 after going 0-12 in one disappointing season. The shocking freefall came one year after a 12-win season that included a Conference USA championship, No. 19 national ranking and Hawaii Bowl victory.

Monken was confident the Golden Eagles could return to those winning ways soon. He met with the team Tuesday and said the "only disappointment is they get to go home."

"(The players) didn't forget how to win, how to work or how to compete," Monken said. "They're ready to work."

Monken's arrival has to seem like a flashback for Southern Miss fans, who watched five years ago as Larry Fedora was introduced following the 2007 season. The brash Oklahoma State offensive coordinator finished with a 34-19 record over four years — including a 12-2 mark in 2011 — at Southern Miss before leaving to become North Carolina's coach.

Monken said it was an honor to be compared with Fedora, then turned to humor to illustrate similarities and differences.

"We both like visors," Monken deadpanned. "But he's got longer, darker hair than me and uses a little more gel."

Southern Miss athletic director Jeff Hammond said Monken has a four-year contract, but declined to disclose financial terms. Hammond did say the deal would be similar to Johnson's, which paid about $750,000 annually.

Continue reading this story on the...