Todd Monken leaves Southern Miss for NFL

Published 10:24 am Monday, January 25, 2016

Southern Miss coach Todd Monken is looking for a change of scenery.

In a press release from the university, Monken has accepted an NFL Offensive Coordinator position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, calling it “a position he couldn’t pass up.” He announced his resignation on Saturday during a media conference.

Monken coached the team to its first winning record since 2012 this season. It was also the first time Southern Miss played in a bowl game since 2011 beating Nevada 24-17 in the Hawai’I Bowl.

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The Golden Eagles finished last season with an overall 9-5 record and lost to Washington State in the Heart of Dallas Bowl back in December. In his tenure, Monken went 13-25 record and took the program to a Conference-USA Championship game against Western Kentucky and lost 45-28.

“It has been a privilege to lead this program over the last three years,” Monken said in his media conference. “This is a special place because of a lot of special people. We accomplished a lot, rebuilding the Southern Miss football program, and we did it together.”

Tampa Bay promoted former offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter after parting ways with Lovie Smith on Jan. 6.

Monken has known Koetter for a little less than 10 years and respects Koetter’s knowledge of the game.

“This has probably been the most difficult decision that I have had to make in my career, but I am at peach that this is the right decision for me and my family,” Monken said. “Perhaps the hardest part of the decision is the timing of it, which is not something I could control.”

Bill McGillis, Southern Miss’ director of athletics, thanked Monken for his service to the university. McGillis said Monken left the program better than he found it.

McGillis said the university would begin searching for a new coach immediately.

“This is an outstanding opportunity and the position will be highly sought after. There is a foundation in place to win a championship in 2016 and beyond, and people recognize that,” McGillis said. “I expect to have a new head coach in place before next weekend. We’re ready to go.”

Jack Duggan contributed to this report.