UNDATED (WLOX) - If you asked him last week, former Southern Miss head coach Todd Monken would've probably had no idea that any NFL team had any interest in bringing him onto their staff as an offensive coordinator.
But when an opportunity quickly popped up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite being in charge of an FBS program, it was an offer he couldn't refuse.
"It's a special opportunity. I really believe that," Monken said. "It doesn't come around every day where you have an opportunity to be at the highest level."
Monken isn't new to the NFL coaching ranks. He was in charge of the Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers from 2007-10.
Officially, he'll be the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, but will not be making play calls like an OC would normally do. Instead, he'll focus on developing a young group of Tampa Bay receivers, led by Mike Evans, who was drafted seventh overall by the Buccaneers in 2014.
Monken led the Golden Eagles to a 13-25 record in his three seasons at Southern Miss, but his ability to quickly revitalize the USM football program with historic offensive numbers caught the eye of Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter.
Koetter, who Monken said he has known for about 10 years, previously worked with his most recent hire on the Jaguars staff as well.
"I enjoyed my time at Southern Miss," Monken said. "I have a lot of great friends there and we did some great things, but I'm looking forward to every day, every week and every month doing my part to see [Tampa Bay] continue that climb."
USM Director of Athletics Bill McGillis is still in the process of searching for a new head coach. Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran and UAB head coach Bill Clark were on the short list, but both have withdrawn their names from consideration.
McGillis is hoping to have a head coach named some time this weekend.