AP source: Southern Mississippi hires Monken

Southern Mississippi has hired Todd Monken as its head football coach, a person familiar with the decision said.

The person said Monken will be introduced at a Tuesday afternoon news conference that the university has scheduled. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the university had not publically announced Monken’s hiring.

Monken has spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.

He will replace Ellis Johnson, who was fired after just one season in which the Golden Eagles finished with a 0-12 record.

Johnson — whose defensive-minded pedigree always seemed to be a poor fit with the Golden Eagles — is owed a $2.1 million buyout over the next three seasons.

It’s the second time in five years that Southern Miss has turned to an Oklahoma State offensive coordinator to lead its program. The Golden Eagles hired Larry Fedora following the 2007 season and he guided Southern Miss to a 34-19 record over four seasons before leaving for North Carolina.

Oklahoma State has a 7-5 record this season, including a 5-4 mark in the Big 12. The Cowboys have scored nearly 45 points per game under Monken’s guidance, which ranks fourth in the nation. In the 2011 season, the Cowboys scored 50 or more points six times.

Monken is a veteran offensive assistant at both the college and NFL level.

He spent four seasons as the receivers coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars before coming to Oklahoma State in 2011. He’s also been an assistant at LSU, Louisiana Tech and Eastern Michigan.

He’ll have a tough job at Southern Miss, which finished with a 12-2 record in 2011 but plummeted to 0-12 over the past season. The Golden Eagles were the only team in the Football Bowl Subdivision that finished without a victory.

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