Jay Hopson has stepped down as Southern Miss’s head coach, the school announced Monday.
Yahoo’s Pete Thamel was the first to report the news.
“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,” said AD Jeremy McClain. “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.”
Co-offensive coordinator Scotty Walden will serve as the Golden Eagles’ interim head coach for the remainder of the season. The Eagles’ next game is Sept. 19 against Conference USA rival Louisiana Tech.
Hopson was hired after Signing Day in 2016, after then-head coach Todd Monken left to become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator. Hopson posted winning records in all four years at USM, including a 7-6 mark with an Armed Forces Bowl appearance last year.
Southern Miss opened the season Thursday with a 32-21 loss to South Alabama.
Prior to his arrival in Hattiesburg, Hopson went 32-17 with two SWAC championships from 2012-15 at Alcorn State.
“After heartfelt discussion with Jeremy, we have come to a mutual agreement for me to step down as head coach. 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,” said Hopson. “I cannot thank Dr. 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.”
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