|So. Miss talks with UTM’s Simpson |
|Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012 9:20 pm |
By KEVIN WEAKS
The talk surrounding a new football head coach at Southern Miss includes Jason Simpson.
Currently the head man at UT Martin, Simpson interviewed for the vacant position at his alma mater on Saturday.
Southern Miss is looking to replace Ellis Johnson, who was fired after just one season at the helm. The Eagles were 0-12 in the 2012 season, the only Football Bowl Subdivision team with a winless record.
Simpson interviewed with the nine-member committee, which includes athletic director Jeff Hammond, in New Orleans.
“It’s a compliment to our program, our assistant coaches and administration,” Simpson told The Messenger via telephone interview this morning. “I was flattered to be contacted. Southern Miss is what the diploma on my wall says. It’s just a compliment to what we’ve done here and what we did this past season in winning eight games and beating Memphis.”
Simpson said he was contacted by the Southern Miss search committee, noting that his ties to the university and UTM’s success in his seven years at the helm were major factors in the school’s interest.
“They basically wanted to talk with me about the success we’ve had and how we develop players,” said Simpson, who is on the recruiting trail though West Tennessee today.
In seven years at UT Martin, Simpson has posted an overall record of 45-34 and an Ohio Valley Conference mark of 35-20. The program won the conference championship and advanced to the playoffs in 2006, Simpson’s first season.
Simpson, a native of Ellisville, Miss., earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Miss in 1994, transferring to the school from Mississippi State in 1992.
Several media outlets in Mississippi have reported the list of coaches that either have been or will be interviewed includes North Carolina offensive coordinator Blake Anderson — who held the same position at USM under Larry Fedora — Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown, Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and Louisiana-Lafayette offensive coordinator Jay Johnson in addition to Simpson.
Other candidates could be included in the interview process as well.
Hammond reportedly has said he wants a new head coach in place by Dec. 19, which is national junior college signing day — the day four-year schools can sign JUCO players.
The next head coach at Southern Miss will be the program’s 20th.
Published in The Messenger 12.10.12