The Southern Miss coaching search, which had reportedly turned to names like Kirby Smart and Todd Monken, will indeed draw from the coordinator ranks for its ultimate hire, according to 247 Sports' South Carolina site. The Big Spur names South Carolina Gamecocks defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson as the next Golden Eagles coach, saying he was offered the job Monday and is expected to be announced shortly.
Johnson has been Carolina's defensive coordinator since 2008, previously gaining Magnolia State experience by manning the Mississippi St. Bulldogs D. He coached Southern Miss' defense in 1988 and 1989, advancing from there to Alabama and Clemson. His USM defenses improved from No. 77 in the country before he arrived to No. 61 and No. 49.
He also has head coaching experience at Gardner-Webb and alma mater The Citadel.
The Gamecocks defense ranked No. 4 in the country in 2011, with top-15 finishes in both 2008 and 2009. His last MSU defense ranked No. 22.