Southern Miss begins the search again for a new head coach as Todd Monken suddenly took the leap for the NFL. Now, the page turns and it must turn quickly, as the Golden Eagles are now just a week and a half from signing day without a head coach. Bill McGillis said today the search would begin Sunday night. Here are some early names to watch that will be updated throughout the week..
-David Duggan, DC, Southern Miss
Why it works: Coach Duggan coached the defense at Southern Miss for several years before leaving when the new regime came in. Todd Monken brought him back and the fit has been a great one. Coach Duggan knows the culture at Southern Miss. He knows the landscape and the recruits. He knows the current players and he knows what it takes to win in Hattiesburg. He's also got a wealth of head coaching experience in NFL Europe. Coach Duggan would allow Southern Miss to keep the continuity that is so important to hold this excellent recruiting class together.
-Jay Hopson, Alcorn State
Why it works: Hopson certainly has roots with the Southern Miss program and knows what it takes. With even deeper roots in the state of Mississippi, he would be an excellent recruiter for the Golden Eagles. Hopson is a winner. He's gone 32-16 in his tenure at Alcorn and almost beat Southern Miss in Hattiesburg two years ago. He's proven himself as a head coach and took the Braves to a bowl game this past year after a 9-3 season. Hopson would likely be more of a continuation of the culture that Southern Miss currently has in place. Hopson is set to interview for the job Wednesday.
-Bill Clark, UAB
Why it works: Bill Clark has an outstanding resume and most importantly, he knows how to win. He had resurrected the UAB program before it was shut down, and now is a head coach without a team. UAB is near to his heart and it would be difficult to pull him away. But, he knows C-USA well and if he would take any other program within the conference, Southern Miss would be it. In previous conversations with Coach Clark, he has nothing but favorable things and a lot of respect for Southern Miss. Also, his strength and conditioning coach is already here. We are unsure if Clark will get an interview this time around.
-Doug Meacham, OC, TCU
Why it works: TCU's offensive numbers under Meacham have been staggering. He fits the mold of the recent successful coaches at Southern Miss, very aggressive offensively and he has a similar background with other offensive juggernauts the Eagles have hired. Meacham received a lot of interst when the North Texas job and Tulane jobs came open. Rumors were circling that he got an early interview with Southern Miss. Certainly a name to watch closely.
-Chris Kapilovic, OC, North Carolina
Why it works: Kapilovic is an intriguing name because of his past connections as offensive line coach under Larry Fedora. We do not believe he's been offered an interview, but his name has circled around the rumor mill a time or two.
-Doug Nussmier, OC, Florida
Why it works: Nussmier would be an outside hire, and its doubtful USM wants an overhaul of its offense. However, they have expressed interest in reaching out to Nussmier but we haven't heard of anything beyond that at this point.