Southern Miss was arguably the most pleasant success story in Conference USA last year, if not all of G5 football, but now they find themselves in an unexpected place - without a head coach.
The most immediate reaction was the reminder that National Signing Day is right around the corner and how bad this might be for the Golden Eagles.
Any HC leaving a program 10 days before National Signing Day is the worst thing possible for a program.— Grant Traylor (@GrantTraylor) January 24, 2016
Timing on Todd Monken isn't going to do a lot for Southern Miss recruiting.— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) January 24, 2016
Todd Monken 2 the TB Bucs 2 1 week before signing day a lot of futures in Limbo right now— Coach Bryan Wilson (@FrshYelGrizzly) January 24, 2016
Anyone find it odd that Todd Monken is leaving for the Bucs this close the NSD? It's one thing to leave, but it's another to announce it now— John G. Bronkhorst (@coachbronk) January 24, 2016
Southern Miss fans had mixed feelings, but for the most part, it was a lot of thanking Monken for his tenure.
What? I said "mostly" positive.
And, finally, USM beat reporter Jason Munz was on the scene for the press conference from Southern Miss' side of things.
Just passed most of the Southern Miss football team outside the athletic center. An awful lot of stunned faces.— Jason Munz (@munzly) January 24, 2016
Monken spends about 2 mins reading a prepared statement before choking up a little bit toward the end.— Jason Munz (@munzly) January 24, 2016
Todd Monken: "I'll always be a Golden Eagle."— Jason Munz (@munzly) January 24, 2016
Todd Monken: "Thank you for the chance to be a Golden Eagle." pic.twitter.com/hRbMREGCQY— Jason Munz (@munzly) January 24, 2016
Todd Monken: "This is the most difficult decision I've had to make in my career. But I'm at peace because it's the right decision."— Jason Munz (@munzly) January 24, 2016
So, the next question is, where does Southern Miss go from here for a head coach?
McGillis on coaching search: "This'll be a true national search. We're going to consider people with different profiles."— Jason Munz (@munzly) January 24, 2016
Short and sweet. It appears, even though NSD is within sight, the Golden Eagles don't want to rush this and choose the right guy.