Scotty Walden steps down at USM, accepts head coaching job at Austin Peay

Scotty Walden steps down at USM, accepts head coaching job at Austin Peay

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WLOX) - Last week, Southern Miss assistant head coach Tim Billings took over head coaching duties in their road game against Liberty for Scotty Walden because of Walden’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Little did we know, we were actually getting a sneak peak into the next episode of the convoluted Golden Eagle 2020 football season.

The coaching carousel continues in Hattiesburg as USM’s interim head coach Scotty Walden decided to resign and accept the head coaching job at Austin Peay State University, a division one FCS program.

Walden will leave immediately as Southern Miss will look towards Tim Billings as their second interim head coach and third overall of the season with Jay Hopson resigning after the season-opening loss against South Alabama.

Since September 7th, Walden led USM to a 1-2 record as the youngest head coach in FBS football at 30-years-old. Under Walden’s leadership, the Golden Eagles did improve offensively averaging over 31 points per game.

Walden came to USM in 2017 as the receivers coach before becoming co-offensive coordinator before the 2019 season.

Walden is seen as one of the most energetic and innovative young coaches in the country and now becomes the 21st head football coach in Austin Peay State University history. The Governors will welcome Walden to Clarksville during an introductory press conference at 1:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 2.

“Callie, Luca, and I are incredibly blessed and thankful to be a part of the Governor family,” said Walden in the APSU press release. "Becoming the head football coach for an up-and-coming program like Austin Peay is a dream come true for myself and my family. I am looking forward to meeting the players and getting to work as soon as possible. We appreciate (Interim APSU President) Dannelle Whiteside, (Director of Athletics) Gerald Harrison and the entire Austin Peay community for the amazing opportunity and belief in us. Let’s go do something special together!”

In a statement to the news, USM AD Jeremy McClain said, “We are excited for Scotty and his family as they begin this new journey and we wish them nothing but the best. As we adjust, I have asked Tim Billings to take over the interim head coach role and I have full confidence in his ability to successfully lead our team for the rest of the season.”

In a recent Sun Herald report, McClain said he plans to hire a full-time head coach by late November, with the salary being amongst the top five in Conference USA.

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