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Significant Changes Coming To Southern Miss Coaching Staff

Monken's move to the NFL has set forth a domino effect that will end up ushering in a very different coaching staff at Southern Miss.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

In a whirlwind of events since his hiring, Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson has already started making multiple changes to the coaching staff. So far, three coaches have already been informed that they will not be part of the 2016 staff.

In addition, running backs coach John Simon left the program to accept a role as wide receivers coach with the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns and safeties coach Pete Golding left the program to take over as UTSA's defensive coordinator.

There have been multiple reports, first by FootballScoop.com, that player personnel/tight ends coach Jon Williams, defensive line coach Justin Roberts, and recruiting coordinator Dayne Brown were the three coaches to lose their roles within the program. Decisions have yet to be made about defensive coordinator David Duggan or offensive line coach Luke Meadows.

It should be noted that on the official 2016 roster, the safeties coaching position is no longer listed. Neither is the special teams coordinator.

The only coaches that have been retained after meetings with Hopson so far are John Wozniak, Lytrel Pollard, and Zac Woodfin. It was announced during the signing day celebrations on Wednesday that Woodfin had signed a two-year extension, keeping the strength and conditioning coach with the Golden Eagles through the 2018 season.

Wozniak and Pollard were not given a guarantee to continue with their current roles, but it is expected that Pollard will coach the secondary unless he is offered the defensive coordinator position. It will be interesting to see if Wozniak will return as offensive coordinator or move back to his 2015 regular season role as wide receivers coach/special teams coordinator.

Football Scoop also reported this morning that Prairie View A&M head coach Willie Simmons has turned down the offensive coordinator position with Southern Miss.

It is also expected that Hopson will bring his defensive coordinator from Alcorn State, Tony Pecoraro, to the staff. His role on the defense will be very dependent on whether Duggan returns as defensive coordinator. If Duggan is gone, Pecoraro would be likely to fill the role. If not, there may be more shuffling within the coaching staff.

Here is a look at how the Southern Miss coaching staff looked heading into the 2015 season:

  • Todd Monken - Head Coach
  • Jon Williams - Assistant HC/Player Personnel/Tight Ends
  • David Duggan - Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • Chip Lindsey - Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • John Wozniak - Special Teams Coordinator/Inside Receivers Coach
  • John Simon - Running Backs Coach
  • Luke Meadows - Offensive Line Coach
  • Justin Roberts - Defensive Line Coach
  • Lytrel Pollard - Secondary/Cornerbacks Coach
  • Pete Golding - Safeties Coach
  • Dayne Brown - Director of Recruiting and Player Development
  • Zac Woodfin - Strength and Conditioning Coach

And here is what the staff looks two days after the 2016 National Signing Day:

  • Jay Hopson - Head Coach
  • ??? - Assistant HC/Player Personnel/Tight Ends
  • ??? - Defensive Coordinator /Linebackers Coach
  • John Wozniak - Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach**
  • ??? - Special Teams Coordinator/Inside Receivers Coach
  • ??? - Running Backs Coach
  • ??? - Defensive Line
  • ??? - Offensive Line Coach
  • Lytrel Pollard - Secondary/Cornerbacks Coach**
  • ??? - Safeties Coach
  • ??? - Director of Recruiting and Player Development
  • Zac Woodfin - Strength and Conditioning Coach

**Note: Wozniak and Pollard have been informed they will be back, but do not yet know what specific role on the coaching staff they will assume.**

Adding Pecoraro at an undetermined role, that make only five positions out of 11 filled right now. Add in the fact that it seems likely that Hopson does not want Wozniak at offensive coordinator and we may see even more changes.

I have many thoughts on this coaching staff purge, including very poor timing, and the implications moving forward once the new coaching staff is pieced together.

Expect many more updates about the musical chairs coaching staff in the coming days.