Southern Miss to announce Johnson as new coach at 4 p.m. - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Southern Miss to announce Johnson as new coach at 4 p.m. press conference

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

The University of Southern Mississippi will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. to officially announce Ellis Johnson as the next head football coach.

WDAM will carry the conference live on the air and on the web.

University of South Carolina Assistant head football coach Ellis Johnson, who interviewed in Atlanta, Ga. for the position on December 15, was offered the job on Monday and accepted the position while in Hattiesburg, Miss., according to The Big Spur.

Johnson was an assistant coach at Southern Miss from 1988-89 and also served at Mississippi State from 2004-07. Johnson, who is in his fourth season at South Carolina, was the head coach at The Citadel from 2001-03. He has expressed a desire to get back into the head coaching ranks again.

Johnson has made it clear that he would be open to being a head coach again and the Southern Miss job proved to be the right opportunity.

"I love what I'm doing now living near my home town - in my home town. I'm very well treated here and love working for coach Spurrier in the Southeastern Conference," Johnson said in an interview on Nov. 17. "I don't worry about (being a head coach). If an opportunity came along I thought was fun, had an opportunity to win, and could get a staff together, I think it'd be great to do it. I certainly would not shy away from it. I'm happy with the job I got and I'm very fortunate to have it."

Apparently the opportunity to coach at Southern Miss was the right opportunity.

Johnson's name was one of the first to emerge when rumors surrounding former USM head coach Larry Fedora began to surface that he would take a head job at a BCS school. Fedora settled on North Carolina and Johnson's name immediately surfaced.

USM offensive coordinator Blake Anderson, who planned to follow Fedora to North Carolina, was the other candidate in the lead group. Fedora and his staff have stayed on to coach the Golden Eagles in their bowl game. Murray State head coach Chris Hatcher was another name prominently mentioned for the job.

Johnson is currently in his fourth season at South Carolina. His first season with the Gamecocks, he was one of five finalists for Defensive Coordinator of the Year by FootballScoop.com. Last season, the defense finished No. 15 nationally against the run. In 2009, the defense finished No. 15 national in total defense.

Johnson agreed to a deal in February 2010 that extended his contract two years and doubled his salary. He currently makes $700,000 with South Carolina and is under contract through the 2013 season. Johnson does not have a buyout should he become a head coach, but he's responsible for the remaining amount on his contract should he leave for another coordinator position.

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said on Sunday that he expected Johnson to remain in Columbia and coach the Gamecocks through the Capital One Bowl on January 2, 2012.

Copyright 2011 WDAM, WIS. All rights reserved. 

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Laurel man facing drug, burglary charges

    Laurel man facing drug, burglary charges

    Monday, July 24 2017 4:22 PM EDT2017-07-24 20:22:57 GMT
    Frederick Cooley. Source: LPDFrederick Cooley. Source: LPD

    A Laurel man is facing burglary and drug charges after a incident last week.  

    More >>

    A Laurel man is facing burglary and drug charges after a incident last week.  

    More >>
  • Laurel man charged with fraud

    Laurel man charged with fraud

    Monday, July 24 2017 4:20 PM EDT2017-07-24 20:20:49 GMT
    John Umstead. Photo courtesy of Jones County Sheriff's Dept.John Umstead. Photo courtesy of Jones County Sheriff's Dept.
    A Jones County man has been charged with fraud after reportedly using a false identity to collect funds. Jones County Sheriff's Investigators said John Umstead, 49, of Laurel was working under a contract with a medical  coding company using another's identity. Investigators were made aware of the possibly fraudulent activity on June 22, according to a press release from the Jones County Sheriff's Department.  An ongoing investigation found that Umstead collected money...More >>
    A Jones County man has been charged with fraud after reportedly using a false identity to collect funds. Jones County Sheriff's Investigators said John Umstead, 49, of Laurel was working under a contract with a medical  coding company using another's identity. Investigators were made aware of the possibly fraudulent activity on June 22, according to a press release from the Jones County Sheriff's Department.  An ongoing investigation found that Umstead collected money...More >>
  • Couple charged with residential burglary

    Couple charged with residential burglary

    Monday, July 24 2017 3:41 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:41:05 GMT
    Aubrey Goff. Source: FCSOAubrey Goff. Source: FCSO

    A couple has been charged with residential burglary, according to the Forrest County Sheriff's Office.  

    More >>

    A couple has been charged with residential burglary, according to the Forrest County Sheriff's Office.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly