Southern Miss

Southern Miss football is in search of a new offensive coordinator

Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson will now have three spots to fill on his coaching staff.

New University of Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen announced Friday night that USM offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson has been hired as an offensive assistant coach for the Cougars.

Dawson worked under Holgorsen for four seasons at West Virginia from 2011-14, serving the last three years as the team’s offensive coordinator.

Dawson spent the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator at USM. Prior to arriving in Hattiesburg, Dawson held the same role for one year at Kentucky in 2015.

USM averaged 24.90 points a game under Dawson’s direction during the 2018 campaign with redshirt sophomore Jack Abraham serving as the team’s starting quarterback in his first year of FBS football.

The Eagles were one of the worst rushing teams in the nation in 2018, averaging just 94.7 yards a game behind an offensive line that struggled for much of the season.

USM may not have to look far to fill the offensive coordinator spot with inside receivers coach Scotty Walden and running backs coach Les Koenning both capable of filling the role. Koenning has served as an offensive coordinator at Alabama, UAB, Mississippi State and South Alabama. Walden is a former head coach at Div. III East Texas Baptist, which averaged 49.9 points and 564.3 yards a game in his final season there in 2016.

Offensive line coach Erik Losey and strength and conditioning coach SaJason Finley were both let go from the USM staff by Hopson on Jan. 3.

Patrick Magee is a sports writer who has covered South Mississippi for much of the last two decades. From Southern Miss to high schools, he stays on top of it all.