HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - University of Southern Mississippi head football coach Jay Hopson resigned Monday afternoon, leaving former co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Scotty Walden to fill his shoes as interim head coach.
The coaching change has started a lot of discussion about this season. Football fans are already sharing their thoughts on who the next head coach should be.
At the same time, some fans are just curious to see where Walden will take the team this season. Many Southern Miss students seem to have high hopes for the rest of this season.
“I was kind of surprised, considering he has had a winning record in all of his seasons thus far," one student said. "I guess it’s one of those things where you have to be patient and understand that the leadership has some sort of plan in place. I’m still excited, still hopeful that it’ll be a good season.”
Students say that even though Southern Miss began the season with a loss to South Alabama, they were surprised to see the head coach resign with a full season ahead.
“As an athlete, me personally being an athlete, I know stuff like that can have you thinking and set you back, but I just feel like it should make you go harder at the end of the day," a USM student-athlete said. “They got something to prove at this point.”
Another student added that while a change after the first game is unusual, hopefully the fresh perspective will be good for the team.
“You don’t know how the coaching and the schemes are going to translate until you get on field, so I feel like they probably were seeing if it would get better over the off-season and they probably saw that the scheme was probably a little bit antiquated and still was the same….Change is always good and change can bring positive things and I think this season will hopefully get better,” a student said.
Fans are buzzing about the coaching change and many have taken to Facebook groups like Eagle Post, sharing their ideas for the next head coach hire. Some think depending on how the rest of the season goes, Walden could have interim removed from his title.
Overall, fans and students seem to think the change will bring a fresh perspective and hopefully a successful season to the rock.