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Southern Miss hires Will Hall as next football head coach

Southern Miss has nabbed one of college football’s rising young stars and a native Mississippian to lead its program.

The university announced Wednesday that it has hired Tulane offensive coordinator Will Hall as its next head coach. The 40-year-old was born in Amory and is the son of legendary Mississippi high school coach Bobby Hall.

An introductory news conference to formally introduce Hall is scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. at Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg. The event will be streamed online at southernmiss.com.
Sports Illustrated reported Hall will take over as Southern Miss’ head coach after Tulane’s regular-season finale on Saturday.

Will Hall

Southern Miss is hoping Hall’s hire marks the end of perhaps the most tumultuous period in the program’s history. Three different people — Vicksburg native Jay Hopson, Scotty Walden and Tim Billings — have served as the Golden Eagles’ head coach this season.

Hopson, a Vicksburg native, resigned after a season-opening loss to South Alabama in September. Walden stepped down a month later to take the job as Austin Peay’s head coach. Billings has led the team since Walden’s departure, but has expressed that he does not want the job on a permanent basis.

Southern Miss has a 2-7 record heading into its season finale next Thursday at home against Florida Atlantic.

As early as September, after Hopson resigned, Hall’s name surfaced one of the primary targets of Southern Miss’ coaching search.

Southern Miss is Hall’s 11th stop in a coaching career that started in 2004. He was the head coach at Division II West Alabama from 2011-13, and at West Georgia from 2014-16. Among Hall’s players at West Alabama were Vicksburg native and current Tennessee Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler.

Hall left West Georgia to move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision level as Louisiana-Lafayette’s offensive coordinator in 2017. He jumped to Memphis as an associate head coach in 2018, and then joined Tulane’s staff in 2019.

Tulane ranked 11th in the country in rushing offense (243.2 yards per game), 22nd in total offense (449.3 yards per game) and 30th in scoring offense (33.1 points per game) in 2019. They had 500 yards or more five times.

This season, Green Wave is ranked 19th in rushing offense at 224.1 yards per game and 29th in scoring offense (36.7 points per game).