Southern Miss football coach Jay Hopson resigns position after loss

Published 4:46 pm Monday, September 7, 2020

Southern Miss Director of Athletics, Jeremy McClain, announced today a transition in leadership for the Golden Eagle football program. McClain has named assistant coach, Scotty Walden, as the interim head coach to replace outgoing coach Jay Hopson.

“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 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.”

Hopson, who was in his fifth season with the Golden Eagles, posted a 28-23 record and guided the program to three bowl games. He opened his Southern Miss head coaching career with a 44-35 victory over Kentucky in Lexington, giving Southern Miss its first victory over an SEC team since 2000. Hopson was also an assistant for the Golden Eagles from 2001-03 and again from 2005-07.

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“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.”

Walden is in his fourth season at Southern Miss, including his second year as co-offensive coordinator, as well as wide receivers coach. He came to Southern Miss after spending a season as the head football coach at Division III East Texas Baptist University. ETBU compiled a 7-3 record under Walden and led the country in scoring offense at 49.9 points per game, while finishing second in total offense (564.3 yards per game) and sixth in passing offense (365.3 yards per game).

Walden took over as head coach at ETBU after serving three years as the school’s offensive coordinator. Prior to ETBU, Walden was offensive coordinator at Sul Ross State in 2012.