HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - University of Southern Mississippi assistant coach Tim Billings will assume the head coaching reins this weekend when the Golden Eagles face Liberty University.
Billings will step in for interim head coach Scott Walden, according to Jack Duggan, USM assistant athletic director/communications.
Walden tested positive during a routine screening Tuesday for COVID-19.
Further testing confirmed the diagnosis and Walden will be quarantined for an unspecified time.
Billings, who is in his fifth season with the Golden Eagles, had served as assistant head coach and coached the specialized “nickel” position on defense this year.
Billings will become the Golden Eagles’ third head coach during the 2020 season, following Walden and Jay Hopson.
Hopson resigned after one game in his fifth season at the helm.
The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on USM’s 2020 football season.
The Golden Eagles' last two football games have been postponed because of coronavirus.
According to a USM release, the decision was made by Florida Atlantic University to postpone the game that was scheduled for Oct. 10 due to precautionary measures concerning the availability of student-athletes.
Last Saturday’s road game against the University of Texas-El Paso was postponed after the Golden Eagles' COVID-19 cases rose to more than 20 players and support staff “affected through either positives or contact tracing," USM athletic director Jeremy McClain said in a text earlier this week.
USM (1-3) is scheduled to meet Liberty (5-0) at noon Saturday in Lynchburg, Va.
Among the Flames' wins are victories at Western Kentucky University and Syracuse University, as well as home wins over the University of North Alabama, the University of Louisiana-Monroe and Florida International University.