Back in September, Souther Miss parted ways with head football coach Jay Hopson after just one game in the 2020 season. Now, it appears the Golden Eagles have found a new head coach for the 2021 season.
According to Jeff Haeger of WXXV News 25, Southern Miss is set to hire Tulane offensive Coordinator Will Hall with the official announcement coming tomorrow. Hall has been the offensive coordinator at Tulane since 2019.
Southern Miss athletic director Jeremy McClain named co-offensive coordinator Scotty Walden as the interim head coach after Hopson’s departure. With just one game to go, the Golden Eagles are 2-7 on the season.
“Coach Hopson came to me after last Thursday’s game to discuss what was on his heart and after much discussion over the weekend, he and I agreed that new leadership for our football program is needed,” McClain said in a statement, according to 247Sports’ Brandon Marcello. “Coach Hopson has been a part of our program for 10 years. I appreciate his commitment to Southern Miss and wish Jay and his family nothing but the best.”
Hopson also issued a statement in the release.
“After heartfelt discussion with Jeremy, we have come to a mutual agreement for me to step down as head coach,” Hopson said. “I am in total agreement with this change in leadership and truly believe it is in the best interest of the players, coaches and this entire program. I cannot thank (university president) Dr. (Rodney D.) Bennett and our administration enough for the opportunity that they gave me. I wish Southern Miss nothing but the best and am thankful for all that they have done for me and my family.”
Comments from Southern Miss came after a report Monday by Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports that said the 51-year-old Hopson was expected to resign. Hopson had been at the helm for the Eagles since the 2016 season, compiling a 28-23 record.
With Hopson’s departure, Walden steps in and takes over for him as the interim head coach. Walden is in his fourth year at Southern Miss. He became the Eagles’ co-offensive coordinator in 2019.
As for Hall, the 40-year old helped Tulane post one of the most successful offensive seasons in program history in 2019. The Green Wave finished the season ranked 11th in the nation in rushing offense (243.2), 22nd in total offense (449.3) and 30th in scoring offense (33.1). Hall helped the Olive and Blue rush for over 200 yards in nine games in 2019 and over 300 times four times.
Prior to Tulane, Hall spent 2018 as the tight ends coach at Memphis and 2017 as the offensive coordinator at Louisiana. He also was the head coach at West Alabama from 2011-2013 and West Georgia from 2014-2016.