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Ellis Johnson has been bought out

Ellis Johnson and the Southern Miss fan base entered this season with high expectations coming off a 12 win season under former head coach Larry Fedora.

However, those high expectations were not met under Johnson and his staff, as the Golden Eagles struggled throughout the year and finished 0-12. 

Earlier today the University announced that Johnson would not be retained, and athletic director Jeff Hammond released the following statement:

"Following a thorough assessment of our football program, I made the recommendation to our University President that we not retainEllis Johnson as our head football coach. Dr. Lucas accepted my recommendation and earlier this morning I informedEllis Johnson that he will not return in the future as our head football coach."

"At Southern Miss we expect to compete hard and succeed both in the classroom and on the field. This is not the exception...This is in fact the standard, the norm, our identity and who we are."

"In this regard, we have already initiated a search for a new head coach. We will move rapidly in this effort seeking a dynamic leader with the character to lead our program back to prominence."

"Today marks a new beginning, a new season and a new start. Thus I ask all members of the Southern Miss Family for your support, now more than ever. We must unite and come together as one through this transition period. Please let dignity, respect and love for Our Great University be our watchwords."