Southern Miss

Southern Miss continues to weigh its coaching options, Florida OC reportedly in running

By PATRICK MAGEE

pmagee@sunherald.com Twitter: Patrick_Magee

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Alcorn State head coach Jay Hopson remains in the hunt at Southern Miss.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Alcorn State head coach Jay Hopson remains in the hunt at Southern Miss.

Southern Miss doesn't have a new head football coach yet, but the choice should revealed soon.

USM athletic director Bill McGillis and his small advisory committee continue their work toward replacing former coach Todd Monken with the goal of having the job filled by this weekend.

Monken stepped down as the USM head coach on Sunday to become the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

McGillis hopes to make a quick hire in order to have a head coach in place before National Signing Day on Feb. 4.

Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier interviewed for the USM job on Wednesday and left the meeting a "strong candidate," according to FootballScoop.com. The report described the interview as going "very well."

Nussmeier just finished his first season as the Florida offensive coordinator. The former NFL quarterback has also served as offensive coordinator at Washington (2009-11), Alabama (2012-13) and Michigan (2014).

Nussmeier runs a pro style offense that involves far more snaps under center than what USM has grown accustomed to under coaches like Larry Fedora and Monken.

Southern Miss defensive coordinator David Duggan interviewed for the position on Monday and is awaiting the final decision just like all the other candidates.

Aside from Duggan, Alcorn State head coach Jay Hopson is the man most often associated with the USM job opening. North Carolina associate head coach/co-offensive coordinator Chris Kapilovic also remains an option for Southern Miss in the search to replace Monken.

Duggan, Hopson and Kapilovic have spent time at USM.

Kapilovic worked at Southern Miss as offensive line coach under Fedora from 2008-11.

Duggan, a former NFL Europe head coach, was linebackers coach at USM from 2008-10 and co-defensive coordinator in 2011 before spending a year on Fedora’s staff at North Carolina. He returned to USM in 2013 to become Monken’s defensive coordinator.

Hopson, who is 32-17 in four years at Alcorn State, has also served two stints at USM. He was the Golden Eagles’ defensive backs coach in 2001-03 and defensive coordinator from 2005-07.

UAB head coach Bill Clark’s name gained some traction Wednesday in relation to the Southern Miss job, but a $600,000 contract buyout seems to eliminate him as a serious candidate.

Clark is in a difficult position with signing day looming and his departure would be a major blow to a UAB program that won’t play another game until 2017. UAB shut down its football program in December 2014 before deciding to revive it six months later.

TCU co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham was a serious candidate at both North Texas and Texas State after the 2015 season, but chose to stay in Fort Worth. Meacham worked alongside both Fedora and Monken at Oklahoma State.

Houston offensive coordinator Major Applewhite is also someone to keep an eye on, but it’s unclear if he fits into the current field of candidates.

Ole Miss co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Matt Luke and Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee have also been the subject of speculation in connection with the USM job.

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