The press conference started off with a round of raucous applause for AD Jeff Hammond as he took the stage to introduce Monken.
It was noted at the beginning of the conference that Monken was the first choice of the search committee.
Monken started off by stating his excitement about being the coach at Southern Miss.
is an honor and privilege to be the head coach at Southern Miss,” Monken said. “This program
has an unbelievable history and tradition. As a coach you want high expectations, and you want
winning to be expected.
"Today we start a new day in Southern Miss football. We have a
winning tradition, and last year is what I would call a speed bump.”
Coach Monken said he has already met with the Golden Eagle football team, and that he
was very excited to meet the players.
“The only bad part is that they have to go home,” Coach Monken said.
“I wish we could just go ahead and get to work now.” This sentiment was shared by all three players that were interviewed afterwards.
Monken went through a long list of thank you’s to many people, including a long list of family members who are all football coaches, including his father, uncles, and a couple of cousins.
Monken stated that as soon as he heard the job was open he wanted it, and that he wanted to be part of a school with a winning tradition.
The new southern Miss Head coach emphasized an importance on returning to the school’s winning tradition, but noted it will take everyone from coaches, to players, to the local community.
“Whether it’s joining the eagle club, or buying season tickets for the first time, or even seeing the players out and telling them how excited you are, the community is important.”
Monken said. “We’re really excited to be here in a place that has a passion for football.”
It did not take long for Monken to start talking about football.
“We’re going to put an
exciting brand of football on the field,” Monken said.
Coach Monken also spoke about his coaching style. “We’re going to try to put the fun
back in football,” Monken added.
“The days of telling your players ‘because I said so’ are over. There are so many things to do these days, and to get kids into football, it has to be fun. We’re going to work hard, but I’m going to make it fun.”
Coach Monken said the offense will be no-huddle, and noted that his style is not much of
“That’s obviously why I got the job, because we can score,” Monken said. “It’s a very quarterback friendly offense.”
“It comes down to doing it better than the other team, and we won’t blame the players,”
This statement was met by a large round of applause from the fans in attendance.
Monken was asked about changing the attitude in the locker room.
“I think the players
have to buy into me and the staff,’ Coach Monken said. “The players need to feel our commitment to them. We are in this business for the players."
The Southern Miss head coach was asked about being compared to former head coach Larry Fedora, and how the two are similar and different.
“Well we both like visors, and he’s got longer hair and uses a bit more gel,” Monken said jokingly. “Seriously, I’m flattered to be compared to Coach Fedora. He’s a very good football coach. Like I said though, I just try to
coach to the best of my ability, no matter what I’m coaching.”
When asked about being first on the search committee’s list, Monken let out another
“Well, don’t they have to say that? They’re not going to say I was the
eighth choice,” Monken said. “Whether I was the eighth choice or the first, I wanted this job. As
far as my confidence going forward, I’ll always be confident.”
Monken ended the press conference by reiterating his excitement about being a head coach. “As excited as you all are, I can promise I’m ten times more excited,” Monken said.
“I’ve been waiting 46 years, my whole life, for this opportunity, and I can promise you I am very