Monken Named Head Coach At Southern Miss

The talk started cranking up to a different level around midday Monday in Hattiesburg, Miss., and Monday afternoon we confirmed that Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken has realized his dream of becoming a Division I head coach. Monken will be the head coach at Southern Mississippi, a place where he follows two previous OSU offensive coordinators who became head coaches.

Southern Miss hired Monken as its new head coach after their athletic director Jeffery Hammond did a mass interview weekend in New Orleans.

Reports out of Hattiesburg say Monken will be named officially in a news conference on Tuesday.

In 1991, then Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Jeff Bower, a former Southern Miss quarterback and assistant coach, returned to Hattiesburg to start a long, successful run as the head coach of the Golden Eagles.

More recently, in 2007, Cowboys offensive coordinator Larry Fedora, who came in with Mike Gundy, left to be the head coach at Southern Miss and used the stop to elevate himself to the head coach position at North Carolina.

Monken is familiar with the region from his two seasons (2000 and 2001) as a running backs and wide receiver coach at Louisiana Tech, and then again when he left his first tour of duty at Oklahoma State with Les Miles to go to LSU where he coached the passing game and wide receivers.

In his second tour of duty at OSU the past two seasons, Monken has cranked up a powerful offense at Oklahoma State that in the 2011 Big 12 championship season generated an average of 545.8 yards and 48.7 points per game. Monken helped coach two NFL first-round draft selections in now Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden and Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Josh Cooper has also played a role catching passes for the Browns this season.

This just completed season Monken was forced by injury to use three different quarterbacks and faced other adversity but the offense still generated 548.9 yards and 44.7 points per game. This was a much harder run at it this season, but the offense was very accomplished.

The very honest and down to business Monken is the product of a family chock full of coaches that includes his father and several uncles that are Hall of Fame high school coaches in Illinois.

Our sources tell us Monken will coach quarterbacks and call plays as the head coach of the Golden Eagles.

Now that Monken is the guy at Southern Miss, Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy gets another chance to show off his ability to hire top flight coordinators, something he has been very consistent on as Cowboys boss.

The first immediate chore is to figure out who will call the plays when OSU goes against Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Jan. 1.

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