USC officially has another vacancy on its football staff. As expected, Ellis Johnson was announced as the new head coach at Southern Miss today. Johnson said at his introductory news conference that he will not coach the Gamecock defense in the bowl game next month.
Johnson’s departure leaves a huge hole on the USC’s defensive side of the ball. The State’s Josh Kendall is reporting former Arizona head coach and Oklahoma assistant Mike Stoops is interested in the job. Stoops is close with Steve Spurrier Junior and told Kendall he has talked to Jr. recently.
Current USC assistant Lorenzo Ward already has the title of defensive coordinator and presumably will handle the day-to-day operations of the defense until Johnson’s replacement is found. Ward is another candidate to take over Johnson’s role running the defense.