Fedora expected to be named next USM coach

Larry Fedora is expectedto finalize a deal today, perhaps ending a two-week process to findJeff Bower's replacement at Southern Miss.

The Oklahoma State coach, according to sources in Oklahoma, will benamed Southern Miss' 18th coach by athletic director Richard Giannini.

Fedora, 45, first met with Giannini on Dec. 4; he flew to Hattiesburgon Friday for a second interview.

It's been reported Fedora has been the front-runner for the job sincethe first meeting, with the sticking point in negotiations dealingwith the pay of his assistants.

The current Southern Miss staff, along with the director of footballoperations position, earned a combined $830,000.

However, it's not clear if Fedora's demands for higher salaries weremet or not — calls to Giannini were not returned.

Fedora, one of the top five highest-paid coordinators in the nationat $393,000 a year, has a solid resumé in his three seasons atOklahoma State.

The Cowboys are one of two teams the past two seasons to average morethan 230 rushing and 230 passing yards. This past season, former GulfCoast Community College standout Dantrell Savage rushed for more than1,200 yards.

The College Station, Texas, native also coached under Ron Zook atFlorida before coming to Oklahoma State.

Fedora has coached in eight bowl games, including the 2004 Peach Bowland the 2004 and 2003 Outback bowls.

At Florida his 2004 offense led the SEC in passing (271.1 per game),total offense (426.9), third-down conversions (47.8 percent),touchdown passes (29), pass attempts (407) and pass completions (243).

As a player, Fedora, a wide receiver, helped Austin College win the1981 National Championship and earned Academic All-American honors in1983

Bower will coach the team in the Dec. 22 Bowl; Fedorais expected to hit the recruiting trail immediately.