Brett McMurphy reports that Jay Hopson has left his position as head coach at USM
Southern Miss coach Jay Hopson has resigned, sources told @Stadium. Hopson was 28-23 at USM, including’s Thursday’s opening loss to South Alabama. Hopson had 4 winning records in 4 years w/3 bowl trips. Hopson, also Alcorn State’s coach from 2012-15, had career record of 60-40— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 7, 2020
In his time in Hattiesburg he was successful. He did not impress the fans enough, with criticism of his opening loss against South Alabama, relative recruiting losses to neighbors, and lack of CUSA titles being his ultimate downfall.
Twitter had noted his possible firing yesterday, but it seems he decided to simply resign instead. That decision likely saves USM quite a bit of money in a time when the pandemic has put revenue at a premium.
Update: Pete Thamel of Yahoo has a good review of his time.
His attempt at hiring Art Briles was the most egregious sin, bringing unwanted attention to the program. According to reports, he made the decision to interview Briles unilaterally 1 which caused consternation with his bosses.
Hopson was upset about the decision to cancel his hire.
Ultimately, this decision was “mutual” and I wonder how much of that was related to Hopson feeling like being paid the lowest salary in the league at a program with high expectations was not worth it, especially in a COVID world.
For USM, “firing” a coach is not a good look. They recently extended Hopson’s contract and depending on the agreement reached, there is language in there that means the school is on the hook for a big chunk of change. When programs are laying off employees, paying for a head coach to not perform seems dense. More to come on the details of the separation agreement.
You can argue that that is within his purview as a head coach, but a good coach would know that Briles would be a notable enough hire that he would want to make sure his bosses were at least aware of it. ↩