The Ellis Johnson era at Southern Miss has come to a quick and abrupt end after just one year thanks to an 0-12 record, the team’s first losing season since 1993.
Johnson, who arrived in Hattiesburg after four years as South Carolina’s defensive coordinator, hasn’t exactly had the most successful head coaching career, currently boasting a 17-40 record in stints at Gardner-Webb, The Citadel, and now Southern Miss.
Now that Johnson has been excused from this job (watch him to be a candidate for the Georgia Tech defensive coordinator position), who will be the next Golden Eagles head coach? Here are four coaches that I would contact if I was in charge at Southern Miss:
Blake Anderson, North Carolina OC – An assistant under Larry Fedora during his time at Southern Miss, Anderson is rumored to be the school’s top choice to replace Johnson. The Golden Eagles would be hard-pressed to find another offensive coordinator that had the success that Anderson’s Tar Heels’ offense had this season, averaging an impressive 40.6 points per game.
Todd Monken, Oklahoma State OC – Will the second time be the charm for Monken, who interviewed for this job last year? Now in his second season as Cowboys’ offensive coordinator, Monken’s teams have had no trouble putting points up on the board, scoring more than twenty points in twenty-three of his twenty-four games on the job.
Kliff Kingsbury, Texas A&M OC – Kingsbury, just ten years removed from playing quarterback at Texas Tech, has been a part of an Aggies’ team that has really turned heads in the SEC this year, including the shocking 29-24 victory over #1 Alabama. Kingsbury has some experience coaching in the C-USA thanks to his three seasons at Houston, which saw Kingsbury take on the role of co-offensive coordinator for the last two years. If Southern Miss really wants to excite the fan base with a bright, young head coach, Kingsbury is their guy.
Brett Favre, Oak Grove HS (MS) OC – Probably the longest longshot I have ever listed as a coaching candidate, Favre, a Southern Miss alum, got his first taste of coaching this year as the offensive coordinator for the Warriors, a team that went 7-4 and put up thirty points or more seven times. Plus, how hard could recruiting really be for Favre; all he would have to do is pull up to the recruit’s house, knock on the door, smile, and say “I’m Brett Favre”.