Southern Miss

Hopson rehires at least 2 members of Monken's former Southern Miss staff

COURTESY SOUTHERN MISS 
 New Southern Miss head football coach Jay Hopson addresses the media during Monday's introductory press conference.
COURTESY SOUTHERN MISS New Southern Miss head football coach Jay Hopson addresses the media during Monday's introductory press conference.

Southern Miss coach Jay Hopson has retained at least a pair of members from Todd Monken's former staff, the Sun Herald has confirmed.

Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach John Wozniak and secondary/cornerbacks coach Lytrel Pollard have both been rehired as members of Hopson's new staff.

Hopson has informed three members of Monken's former staff that they will not be retained, according to FootballScoop.com.

Assistant head coach/director of player personnel Jon Williams, defensive line coach Justin Roberts and director of recruiting Dayne Brown were all told that they will not be members of Hopson's staff, according to the site.

Running backs coach John Simon also stepped down recently to take a job on the staff at Louisiana-Lafayette.

Wozniak, who is entering his fourth year at USM, was promoted to offensive coordinator by Monken prior to the Heart of Dallas Bowl in December after Chip Lindsey left the staff to take the same position at Arizona State.

Pollard, a former USM football player, was hired to the USM staff in 2013 for his second stint with the Golden Eagles as a coach. He spent nine years working under former USM coach Jeff Bower from 1999-2007.

Alcorn State defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro is also set to join the staff at USM, according to Chris Hudgison of WLBT in Jackson.

There's also a strong possibility that Prairie View head coach Willie Simmons will join the staff at USM, according to FootballScoop.com.

The two men have yet to be officially added to the staff and it's unclear what positions they might hold at USM.

Simmons served as offensive coordinator under Hopson at Alcorn State for three years and worked in the same role at Middle Tennessee in 2011. Simmons joined the Alcorn Staff prior to the 2012 season. He was there three years, helping Hopson build Alcorn into a winner.

Simmons became the head coach in December 2014 at Prairie View A&M, which is dealing with NCAA sanctions due to APR struggles. A&M wasn't allowed to take part in spring practice, but it finished with a 9-2 record in 2015.

Pecoraro was defensive coordinator at North Alabama for two seasons before joining Hopson at Alcorn in 2012. He worked three years at Florida State as defensive quality control coach before arriving at North Alabama.

Pecoraro also coached linebackers at Alcorn State.

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