HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss football coach Todd Monken announced his resignation at a Sunday afternoon media conference to accept the position of offensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.
"It has been a privilege to lead this program over the last three years," said Monken. "This is a special place because of a lot of special people. We accomplished a lot, rebuilding the Southern Miss football program, and we did it together. Terri, Travis and I were very happy in Hattiesburg and we weren't looking to leave, but a unique opportunity came our way -- one to serve as an NFL offensive coordinator alongside Dirk Koetter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"I've known Dirk a little under 10 years and have the utmost respect for him as a coach and a man. After much reflection, we decided that this was a position that I could not pass up. This has probably been the most difficult decision that I have had to make in my career, but I am at peace that this is the right decision for me and my family. Perhaps the hardest part of the decision is the timing of it, which is not something that I could control. I will always appreciate every player, coach and support staff that sacrificed so much for our program, and the fans, alumni and leadership here is second to none. The future is bright here in Hattiesburg."
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Southern Miss Director of Athletics Bill McGillis thanked Monken for his loyal service to the University and said that he left the program better than he found it.
"Naturally I am disappointed for the University as well as the program and our players. It is difficult news, but at the same time I am very happy for Coach Monken and for Terri and Travis," said McGillis. "Coach did an incredible job here the last three years rebuilding our program and he is a special coach and a special leader.
"I have said several times over the last couple of years that I thought he was rebuilding our program to stand the test of time and I believe that will prove to be the case moving forward. I want to thank Coach Monken for pouring his heart and soul into our program from the day he arrived in Hattiesburg."
"With respect to the next head coach, we will begin that search immediately. This is an outstanding opportunity and the position will be highly sought after. There is a foundation in place to win a championship in 2016 and beyond, and people recognize that. I expect to have a new head coach in place before next weekend. We're ready to go."
Monken oversaw the Golden Eagle program for three seasons and posted a 13-25 record. In 2015, he led the Golden Eagles to a 9-5 record, a C-USA West Division Crown and the school's first bowl game in four seasons. For his efforts this season, Monken earned C-USA Coach of the Year honors.