Southern Miss and Arkansas State name new coaches

Dr. Saturday

Southern Mississippi and Arkansas State each needed new coaches, and each school followed the same plan: find an offensive coordinator from a high-profile Big 12 team.

For Southern Miss, the answer was Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Meanwhile, Arkansas State tabbed Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin.

Both hirings make sense. Monken had two stints with Oklahoma State, with four years as receivers coach for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars in between. The Cowboys' offense has scored 50 points 10 times over the last two years with Monken at the helm.

"We said going into this search that we wanted to find a dynamic leader with the character to lead our program back to prominence, so," Southern Miss athletic director Jeff Hammond said. "I believe today, with the hiring of Todd Monken, we have accomplished that. With his extensive background at some of the premier programs in college football and in the NFL, we believe he is perfectly positioned to return the Golden Eagles to competing both in Conference USA and in the national spotlight."

Harsin had a great run as Boise State's offensive coordinator from 2006-10 before coming to Texas. He should be able to keep the Arkansas State offense, which was very effective under Gus Malzahn, among the best in the Sun Belt.

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