USM signs Hopson to new 4-year contract

Published 6:11 pm Saturday, August 25, 2018

HATTIESBURG — Just before the start of his third season as Southern Miss’ head football coach, Jay Hopson ensured he’ll be around for a while longer.

Southern Miss Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert announced Saturday that Hopson has agreed to a new four-year contract. The new contract will run through Jan. 31, 2022. The Hattiesburg American reported it is worth a total of $2 million, with a base annual salary of $500,000 per year.

Hopson’s contract has a buyout clause requiring that he pay 50 percent of the base salary in the remaining contract period were he to terminate his contract before it has run its course. The university has an equal clause were it to terminate Hopson without cause with time left on the contract.

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Hopson, a Vicksburg native, also has a number of incentives in the contract for things such as winning the Conference USA championship ($25,000); playing in a bowl game ($20,000); wins over Power 5 conference opponents ($25,000 each); and reaching a New Year’s Six bowl ($100,000), among other things.

In two seasons leading the Golden Eagles, Hopson has compiled a 15-11 record. He is tied with Curley Hallman (1988-89) for the most wins in school history for a head coach over his first two seasons.

“Jay’s leadership has brought stability to the football program resulting in winning seasons and bowl games in his first two years,” Gilbert said in a release. “The progress seen in this program can be attributed to his passion for teaching and developing our student-athletes which aligns with all that we stand for at Southern Miss.”

The Golden Eagles open the 2018 season Sept. 1 at 6 p.m., at home against Jackson State.