Southern Miss. head football coach Jay Hopson resigns

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Southern Miss. head football coach Jay Hopson has stepped down. He lasted one game of the 2020 season.

Hopson coached the Golden Eagles in a 32-21 loss to the South Alabama Jaguars on Thursday, Sept. 3. This was the Jaguars first road win since 2017.

Football Stadium
Football Stadium (Photo by Unsplash)

“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 program is needed,” Southern Miss athletic director Jeremy McClain said in a statement. “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.”

The 51-year-old has been replaced on an interim basis by Scotty Walden. He was the team’s co-offensive coordinator before this promotion.

The 30-year-old Walden has previous head coaching experience. He guided the East Texas Baptist Tigers to a 7-3 mark in 2016.

Walden has been employed by Southern Miss since 2017 when he was hired as their wide receivers coach following one season with the Tigers.

In five plus seasons, Hopson was 28-23 as the Golden Eagles head coach. He guided the team to a 20-12 mark in Conference USA.

Hopson guided the team to three Bowl games during his tenure. However, only once, did they win a Bowl game when they defeated the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns in the 16th annual New Orleans Bowl on December 17, 2016.

The Golden Eagles lost in the Independence Bowl following the 2017 season. They also lost in the Armed Forced Bowl following the 2019 season.

His best season as the Golden Eagles head coach was an 8-5 mark.

“After heartfelt discussion with Jeremy, we have come to a mutual agreement for me to step down as head coach,” Hopson said in a statement. “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 wish Southern Miss nothing but the best and am thankful for all that they have done for me and my family.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and limited college football games, the Golden Eagles do not return to the field until Sept. 19 against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

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