Four days later, coach Jay Hopson announced his retirement despite setting a 28:23 record and leading Southern Miss to three bowl games. Scotty Walden, the Golden Eagles’ co-offensive coordinator and wide-angle receiver coach, took on the role of interim coach and led them to a 2-1 record with a win over North Texas on October 3.
This was the last game Southern Miss played as games against Florida Atlantic and UTEP were postponed, the first because of coronavirus problems with his opponent and the second because of Southern Miss’s own problems with the pandemic, which it appears to always be Still has to do: After Walden tested positive for the coronavirus this week, the school announced that he would not be traveling to Saturday’s game against Liberty. Tim Billings will lead the team against the flames.
Billings served as head coach in southeast Missouri for six seasons 25-42 from 2000 to 2005. He will be dealing with a team that did not have a full component of players due to the virus. Before the UTEP game was postponed, Walden said the team only had 44 or 45 scholarship winners and also missed members of the coaching and support staff.
“We’ve had it so good for so long and it finally hit our mouths,” he said earlier this week, before his positive test was announced. “We’ll continue to trust our protocols and find small ways to change things. This could mean that a positional group session is going to a zoom meeting. ”