HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Mississippi raided Oklahoma State for a football coach five years ago.
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Southern Miss introduced Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken as its new football coach Tuesday, confident that the 46-year-old can return the Golden Eagles to their winning ways after the worst season in school history.
"You want high expectations," Monken said. "You want to be at a place where winning is expected. And this is one of those places. This is a new era of Southern Miss football. You've had that history and tradition - hit what I call a one-year speed bump - but I'm looking with great confidence to the future and not looking back."
Monken replaces Ellis Johnson, who was fired Nov. 27 after going 0-12 in one disappointing season. The shocking freefall came one year after a 12-win season that included a Conference USA championship, No. 19 national ranking and Hawaii Bowl victory.
Monken spent four seasons as the receivers coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars before coming to Oklahoma State in 2011. He's also been an assistant at LSU, Louisiana Tech and Eastern Michigan. He said one of the pulls of the Southern Miss job is a knowledge of the recruiting area, and that there are plenty of talented players in a five- or six-hour radius around Hattiesburg.
Monken is the latest in a line of successful offensive coordinators under Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, which includes Fedora and West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen.
"He kept our offense going at a high level and we are very grateful for what he did for our program," Gundy said in a statement. "... Todd comes from a football family. He's grown up around it his entire life and is very driven. His energy, passion and football knowledge will make him a tremendous asset to Southern Miss football."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press