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Southern Miss Football Timeline

March 30, 1910 - The Mississippi State Legislature passed House Bill 204, which called for the establishment of a two-year institution to qualify teachers for the state's public schools. Hattiesburg and Forrest County offered the College Board of Trustees $260,000 and 840 acres of land, beating out the Laurel and Jackson areas for the honor of hosting the new Mississippi Normal College.

Sept. 18, 1912 - Mississippi Normal College opened its doors. During the first month, approximately 150 students organized an athletic association with science professor Ronald J. Slay as athletics director.

Oct. 1912 - The school's colors of Black and Gold are adopted following the suggestion of Stella McLaurin of Montrose, Miss.

Oct. 13, 1912 - Men from Normal College played the Hattiesburg Boy Scouts who were coached by Claude Bennett and later became president of the Mississippi State Teacher College, the Normal College's second name. This inaugural football contest, which consisted of four, eight-minute quarters, was held at Kamper Park, which remained the football team's home until 1932. The Normal College team won the game 30-0, in front of the many students that walked the mile or so to the field.

Sept. 1913 - At Ronald J. Slay's request, M.J. "Blondie" Williams, captain of the 1911 Mississippi State football team, took over as the Normal College head coach. In the wake of the team's successful inaugural season, 40 men tried out for the team this season.

Sept. 1914 - A.B. Dillie, a former star halfback at Mississippi State, took over as the Normalites head football coach, providing some stability by remaining in that position until the 1916 season.

1917-1918 - The United States involvement in World War I had widespread repercussions throughout the country and Mississippi Normal College was no exception as football was not a part of the University life during the 1917 and 1918 because the campus was united in the attempt to aid the war effort overseas.

Sept. 16, 1919 - Ronald J. Slay called the first post-war practice session. He believed the school had a chance to field the state's best team. Slay had traveled throughout the state and had contacted numerous students who had played football and planned to attend Normal College.

Sept. 1919 - Cephus Anderson, who had played four years of varsity football at Ole Miss and was a prominent young Hattiesburg attorney, was named head coach.

Sept. 1920 - Fullback B.B. "Opp" O'Mara, one of the team's best athletes, became the player-coach during the 1920 season.

Sept. 1921 - The coaching carousel continued as O'Mara left to play for Ole Miss and the new coach was O.V. "Spout" Austin, a former baseball and basketball star at Ole Miss. Only six lettermen returned from the 1920 squad, but Normal obtained a new source of players when Hattiesburg High School began a football program.

Sept. 1924 - Mississippi Normal College began a new football season with a new name - State Teachers College. The college began to offer a four-year degree, arguably allowing for the recruitment and retention of better or "more desirable" students.

Sept. 1924 - The season brought dramatic changes to STC football as William "Herschel" Bobo replaced Austin as athletics director and head football coach. The team gained its first consistent nickname, the Yellowjackets. It was a far cry from the plethora of previous names used including the Tigers, Bengals, Huskies, Reds and Normalites.

Sept. 1928 - Willie B. Saunders became the new football coach and athletics director. Saunders had played for two years at Mississippi State, and then transferring to Georgia Tech and Auburn before moving into coaching. He came to STC from Tupelo High School.

Nov. 1929 - STC puts in a formal bid to join the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA), the major southern athletic conference.

Feb. 1930 - The college changed its mind about immediately joining the SIAA, petitioning the conference for a one-year probation after which STC would become a full-fledged conference member. STC sought the delay to allow the school time to develop a budget for travel and other expenses, to work on player eligibility and to put together a solid coaching staff.

Sept. 1930 - As part of the transition to SIAA, STC athletic officials announced that the school's football schedule would include nine games, all of them against four-year colleges and seven of them against SIAA members (the schedule was later changed to include a game against Pearl River Junior College).

Sept. 1930 - SIAA rules generally did not permit freshman to play, but officials granted STC a waiver because the association's strict rules left only 10 Yellowjacket upperclassmen eligible to play.

Sept. 1930 - Willie Saunders was replaced as coach by John Lumpkin, a former star at Pearl River JC and Ole Miss, who had served in World War I before becoming coach at the Mississippi Industrial and Training School from 1919-1926.

Nov. 1930 - John Lumpkin was elected to a four-year term in the state senate, forcing him to relinquish his head coaching position after just one season.

Dec. 16, 1930 - STC officials learned that the school had received full SIAA membership.

Sept. 1931 - Allison "Pooley" Hubert, a former Alabama All-American, who had played a key role in the Crimson Tide's 20-19 Rose Bowl win over Washington, was named the team's head coach.

Oct. 29, 1932 - STC marked the opening of their new on-campus stadium, dubbed Faulkner Field, in honor of the project director, L.E. Faulkner, who had donated materials and equipment and recruited unemployed laborers to do the construction. The stadium was built at no cost to the college and was dedicated by Mississippi First Lady Alma Graham Conner, the 78th student to enroll at the college and a member of the first graduating class of 1914. STC upended Spring Hill 12-0 before a crowd of 4,000.

Nov. 24, 1932 - In the traditional Thanksgiving game, played against Union (Tenn.) College, Reed Green raced 80 yards for a touchdown to score the game's only points in a 6-0 victory.

Nov. 1933 - Hubert is joined on the coaching staff by Reed Green, a Leakesville, Miss., native who had earned 10 letters as a Yellowjacket football, basketball and baseball star.

Oct. 20, 1934 - The first night game at Faulkner Field took place as the Yellowjackets played host to Southwestern Louisiana. STC wins the game 12-6.

Nov. 1936 - Hubert accepted the head coaching job at Virginia Military Institute and wanted Reed Green to accompany him. Green turned down the offer to instead be named the school's new football coach by President J.B. George. One of Green's first moves was to hire as line coach, Thad "Pie" Vann, the captain of and a standout player for Ole Miss during the early 1930s and was coaching at Meridian High School.

Sept. 24, 1937 - The season opened at home with a 19-0 win over Louisiana College that featured the debut of a new loudspeaker system at Faulkner Field, donated by the class of 1937 and the staff of the Student Printz for use during games. For the first time, some games are broadcast over the radio by Hattiesburg's WFOR-AM and the school's first true booster group, The 500 Club, was organized with supporters paying $10 a year for membership.

Dec. 1, 1937 - Following the season, the Yellowjackets were invited to play in postseason bowl games in Meridian and Greenwood, Miss., as well as Pensacola, Fla., but STC officials accepted an offer from Gulfport, Miss., to meet Appalachian State Teachers College. The Gulfport Young Men's Business Club sponsored the game as a fund-raiser for the group's doll and toy fund. Appalachian State had lost only once over the previous three seasons, but the Teachers walked away with a 7-0 victory. It was their seventh shutout of the year.

Nov. 1938 - President George announced plans to construct a combination stadium and dormitory on the east side of Faulkner Field, which had previously had only a set of wooden bleachers on the west side. The concrete stadium/dorm is built over the winter of 1938-1939 with members of the football team earning extra money by working on the construction team, hauling concrete. Thus the players, both literally and figuratively, built the stadium that became known as "The Rock." The origins of this nickname remain murky but it may have come from the fact that the laborers joked that construction work was almost as hard as being imprisoned at Alcatraz, the San Francisco prison, also dubbed "The Rock."

Sept. 29, 1939 - First game at The Rock was a 13-6 STC win over Troy State.

Spring 1940 - Mississippi State Teachers College became Mississippi Southern College and the student body votes to change the athletics team's nicknames to the Confederates, although most people refer to the athletic teams as the Southerners. The first game played under the new moniker is held on Sept. 27, as the Confederates play host to Troy State.

Dec. 14, 1940 - Southern played a postseason game against players from the U.S. Army's 37th Ohio Division, which were stationed at Camp Shelby. The game drew a crowd of 8,000, many of them soldiers. The Southerners win 26-0.

Nov. 29, 1941 - Mississippi Southern defeated St. Mary's (Texas) 7-0 to finish the year 9-0-1. Following the year, Joe Stringfellow became the first Mississippi Southern player to be selected in the NFL's annual draft when the Detroit Lions selected him in the 12th round.

Dec. 7-8, 1941 - Andy Webb, who had played center and linebacker at STC in 1937-1938, became one of the early casualties of the Pacific Theater World War II, dying as a result of the Japanese attack in the Philippines.

1941-1945 - Many former Southern players served in the military. Thirty-four former Mississippi Southern students lost their lives during the war. Frenchie Bolis, James "Pickle" Forte, Thomas Rivers King, Rufus McSwain, Bishop Rockwell, along with coaches Reed Green and Thad "Pie" Vann, serve as well.

Fall 1942 - A makeshift Southern team played four games against military service teams. The state's board of trustees of state institutions of higher learning subsequently suspended athletics at all state schools for the duration of World War II.

Sept. 21, 1946 - The first postwar game was played at Faulkner Field against Louisiana Tech in front of 7,600, who endure a steady downpour to watch the contest in a 7-6 Southerners win.

Dec. 14, 1946 - The Southerners took their first plane flight, traveling to Cuba to play the University of Havana in a game dubbed the "Tobacco Bowl." The game is played at the University of Havana's $1 million stadium/gymnasium which seated 12,000 and was the first contest played by an American college team outside the continental U.S.

Sept. 26, 1947 - Southern beat Auburn 19-13 in Montgomery, Ala. It was the first time that the school played the Tigers and the first time they had beaten a team from the Southeastern Conference.

Nov. 7, 1947 - Bubba Phillips rushed 87 yards for a score against Northwestern State in a 20-0 victory at Faulkner Field. The rush ties for the longest in school history.

Nov. 27, 1947 - The Southerners defeated Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond, 35-0. The win allows MSC to collect the SIAA crown with a 7-3 overall record and a 5-0 conference mark.

Spring 1948 - Southern marked the inaugural season for the Gulf States Conference which Reed Green has been instrumental in creating, and which includes many of the school's frequent competitors in the sports of football, basketball and baseball.

Nov. 19, 1948 - Bubba Phillips returned the opening kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown in a 27-0 win over Southeastern Louisiana at Faulkner Field to nail down the Gulf States Conference's first championship.

Nov. 19, 1949 - Bobby Holmes returned a pair of punts for touchdowns against Alabama, including a school-record 95-yarder, to go along with an 82-yarder, which is tied for fifth longest in school history.

Jan. 1949 - Reed Green resigned as MSC's football coach to become the school's first full-time athletics director. Green's long-time assistant Thad "Pie" Vann took over the helm immediately.

Nov. 18, 1950 - The Southerners beat Louisiana Tech 41-20 to win the Gulf States Conference championship. Pie Vann was named GSC Coach of the Year.

Spring 1952 - Reed Green announced that Southern had withdrawn from the Gulf States Conference and would play as an independent. Southern retained its affiliations with the SIAA and National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball (NAIB).

Feb. 1, 1952 - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) officially admitted MSC as a member.

Nov. 24, 1952 - Reed Green announced the Southerners would play in the Sun Bowl on Jan. 1, 1953, at Kidd Field in El Paso, Texas. Their opponent was announced in early December and was the College of the Pacific. The Southerners finished the year at 10-2.

Sept. 18, 1953 - The Southerners opened the season with a landmark victory over Alabama 25-19 in Montgomery. The Crimson Tide were picked no lower than fifth in the country and first in the SEC, while famed sports journalist Grantland Rice had the school picked as his nation's best team.

Nov. 28, 1953 - The Sun Bowl formally extended a bid to MSC and on Nov. 30, school officials announced that team members had voted to accept to face Texas Western.

Sept. 17, 1954 - The 54th season began with a stunning 7-2 victory over Alabama in front of 21,000 in Montgomery, Ala.

March 1955 - The Mississippi Senate considered a resolution that encourages SEC members Mississippi State and Ole Miss to play Mississippi Southern, but the measure does not pass.

Oct. 6, 1956 - Bo Dickinson rushed 87 yards for a touchdown, which is tied for the longest in school history, against Dayton in a 23-6 victory.

Nov. 26, 1956 - School officials announced Southern will play West Texas State on Jan. 1, 1957, in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Nov. 27, 1958 - On a chilly Thanksgiving afternoon at Chattanooga, the Southerners beat the Moccasins 20-13 to win the inaugural UPI College Division National Championship.

Jan. 12, 1959 - The school's alumni association honored the team with a banquet and Chiles Coleman of UPI presents the championship trophy.

Oct. 22, 1960 - A crowd of 16,100, the largest ever at Faulkner Field, watched the Southerners play North Carolina State, but the home team suffers their first defeat of the season, 20-13.

Spring 1961 - Spring 1962 - MSC president William D. McCain, Dean Porter Fortune and athletics director Reed Green attended the annual meetings of the Southern Conference which was considering expansion, but failed to persuade the league to invite the school to join.

Feb. 22, 1962 - The state legislature voted unanimously to change Mississippi Southern College to The University of Southern Mississippi. Governor Ross Barnett signed the bill five days later, marking the triumphant the end of McCain's seven-year drive to make "Southern a great University."

Nov. 17, 1962 - The Southerners played host to Louisiana Tech for homecoming and win 29-18 to capture their second UPI College Division National Championship.

Sept. 1963 - The NCAA classified Southern Miss as a major college program.

Sept. 25, 1965 - Quarterback Vic Purvis rushed for 238 yards, the third most in school history and most by a quarterback, in a 21-16 win over Memphis State in Jackson.

Summer 1967 - The state's building commission approved the construction of a new, privately-financed dorm on the Southern Miss campus. USM leases the $550,000 dorm from A.K. McInnis and Bobby Chain of Hattiesburg with the school retaining the option to buy the facility which housed about 160 athletes. Thad "Pie" Vann Hall officially opened in Aug. of 1967 and was dedicated to the coach on Nov. 1, 1968.

Nov. 16, 1968 - Following a 33-7 win over Richmond, Pie Vann requested permission to retire from active coaching at the conclusion of the season. USM President William D. McCain and athletics director Reed Green granted Vann's request "with regrets."

Nov. 23, 1968 - Pie Vann coached final game at Southern Miss, leading the team to a 21-7 victory over the University of Tampa. Vann ends career with a record 139-59-2.

Jan. 9, 1969 - President McCain and Reed Green announced P.W. "Bear" Underwood, a former star player and assistant coach for the Southerners, who had been an assistant at the University of Tennessee the two previous seasons, as USM's next football coach.

Spring 1970 - Underwood's recruiting class included two African-Americans, defensive back Eugene Bird of Kingston, Tenn., and junior college transfer halfback Willie Heidelburg, of Purvis, Miss. Because freshmen were not eligible to play varsity, Bird played on the freshman squad and Heidelburg played on the varsity squad.

Sept. 12, 1970 - Willie Heidelburg becomes the first African-American to play in a varsity game for the Southerners. He went on to play a key role in several victories in his two years with the team. That game also marked the debut of Ray Guy.

Oct. 17, 1970 - The Southerners traveled to Oxford to face No. 4 Ole Miss and Heisman Trophy candidate Archie Manning. USM defeated the Rebels 30-14 to claim one of the biggest upsets in the young college football season. Defensive lineman Hugh Eggersman was named AP and UPI National Lineman of the Week in his part of the victory and UPI names Underwood the National Coach of the Week. Governor John Bell Williams declared Hattiesburg to be the 1970 Football Capitol of Mississippi adding to fuel to the on-going discussion of a new USM football facility.

March 30, 1971 - Mississippi State Legislature began to consider USM's proposal for a new football stadium. President McCain announced that the $2 construction appropriation would be used for a football facility.

Sept. 30, 1972 - Ray Guy kicked a 93-yard punt at Ole Miss, which is the longest in Golden Eagle history.

Nov. 11, 1972 - Southern Miss officials announced the new nickname for the school's athletic teams. Over the preceding five months, alumni, students and supports had offered more than 400 suggestions for USM's moniker and an ad hoc had selected five finalists to appear on a ballot. The finalists were the current Southerners nickname, or the Golden Raiders, Timber Wolves and War Lords before the Golden Eagles were chosen in a runoff which bested the old previous nickname.

Nov. 18, 1972 - The team played its first game as the Golden Eagles on the road at Utah State in the snow. Ray Guy kicked a then NCAA-record 61-yard field goal. A late blocked punt, though, was recovered in the end zone by Utah State to prevail over the visitors 27-21.

Jan. 5, 1973 - State senator Ray Chatham of Hattiesburg said a joint study of the state house and senate recommends to the legislature a $2,886,000 appropriation to expand Faulkner Field. The legislature accepted the report's recommendation and appropriated the money, raising the project's total funding to $4.8 million.

April 1973 - Ray Guy selected in 1st round of the NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.

May 1973 - The process of renovating Faulkner Field begins.

Nov. 22, 1973 - USM played host to Utah State on Thanksgiving, winning 32-8. The contest was the final home game in Hattiesburg until 1976 as the long-anticipated renovations to Faulkner Field finally commenced.

Dec. 20, 1973 - Reed Green announced his departure after 25 years as the school's athletics director. President McCain announced that Roland Dale was set to become the school's next leader of athletics.

Dec. 1974 - Coach P.W. Underwood announced resignation as football coach effective Dec. 31. Over his six seasons, Underwood had amassed a record 31-32-2.

Dec. 21, 1974 - Roland Dale and USM president Dr. Aubrey Lucas officially announce Bobby Collins to succeed Underwood as head football coach. Collins, who had played at Mississippi State, came to Southern Miss from the University of North Carolina, where he had been assistant head coach in charge of the defense.

Sept. 25, 1976 - M.M. Roberts Stadium opened in front of 33,000 as Southern Miss dedicates its new stadium to Dr. M.M. Roberts, who had played football at the school during the 1915 and 1916 seasons. The Golden Eagles lose 28-0 to Ole Miss.

Oct. 18, 1980 - Southern Miss defeated Arkansas State 35-0, moving the Golden Eagles into the AP and UPI polls for the first time since joining Division I with both organizations ranking the school at No. 20.

Dec. 13, 1980 - The Golden Eagles played in their first postseason bowl since 1957 when they take on McNeese State in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. The Golden Eagles win 16-14 over the Cowboys.

April 1981 - Hanford Dixon was taken in 1st round of the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

Oct. 10, 1981 - Southern Miss tied Alabama 13-13 on Steve Clark's 40-yard field goal as time expires. With the Eagles scrambling to spike the ball to stop the clock and gave their field goal unit a chance to tie the game, the Crimson Tide defense inexplicably calls timeout.

Nov. 7, 1981 - The Golden Eagles and Mississippi State, which ranked No. 17 in the AP poll, faced off in Jackson's Veteran Memorial Stadium in front of 64,112, which was the largest crowd ever at the time for a sporting event in the state of Mississippi. The Eagles won the contest 7-6 to move up into the polls at No. 14 AP and No. 10 in the UPI.

Nov. 14, 1981 - Southern Miss beat Florida State 58-14 in Tallahassee, scoring the first seven times they have the ball. The AP rankings put the Golden Eagles at No. 8 and the UPI poll has them at No. 8.

Dec. 19, 1981 - The Golden Eagles played Missouri in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando. The 50,450 fans in attendance and players endured a bitterly cold night as the Tigers win the contest 19-17. The school finished No. 19 in the final UPI poll.

Jan. 1982 - Bobby Collins left USM to accept a similar position at Southern Methodist, leaving the Golden Eagles after seven seasons and compiling a 48-30-2 mark.

Jan. 18, 1982 - USM Athletics Director Roland Dale announced that Jim Carmody, who had served as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at the school from 1978-1980 before leaving for the Buffalo Bills for a season, returned to be the school's head coach. Carmody, nicknamed "Big Nasty," was the architect of the Southern Miss defense which earned the name "Nasty Bunch."

July 27, 1982 - Metro Conference Commissioner Larry Albus told a large gathering of news media at the Hattiesburg Country Club that Southern had become the league's newest member. Unfortunately for Southern Miss fans, who longed to return to a football-playing conference, the Metro institutions did not compete in the sports of football.

Sept. 25, 1982 - Sam Dejarnette broke school records for rushing attempts and rushing yards in a game with 43 carries for 304 yards in a 24-17 loss to Florida State at home. FSU scored the winning points on a fake field goal with just over five minutes to play.

Nov. 13, 1982 - Southern Miss, in a game they dubbed the "Bama Bowl" defeated No. 17 Alabama 38-29 in Bryant-Denny Stadium, snapping the Tide's 57-game home winning streak. Jim Carmody became the first rookie head coach to beat the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant in his last home game.

Jan. 4, 1983 - Reggie Collier was selected in the 1st round of the USFL Draft by the Birmingham Stallions.

April 1984 - Louis Lipps was selected in the 1st round of the NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Feb. 1986 - Athletics Director Roland Dale declared that he will step down effective July 1 and President Lucas appoints a search committee to find a new director.

July 19, 1986 - President Lucas announced the appointment of H.C. "Bill" McLellan as athletics director, coming from Clemson where he was that school's athletic director from 1971-1983.

Aug. 17, 1986 - The football season began on a tragic note when redshirt freshman running back Eric Sorey of Campbellton, Fla., collapsed with leg cramps while running during the team's first preseason practice. He was treated on the field and taken to the USM Clinic between 11-11:30 a.m. At about 3:30 p.m., he was transferred to Methodist Hospital where he was found to be in cardiac arrest and died later in the early evening.

Sept. 20, 1986 - A 98-yard drive by the Golden Eagles in the game's final minutes culminated with a four-yard touchdown run by Shelton Gandy with 29 seconds left gave Southern Miss a 28-24 victory over Mississippi State in Jackson.

Nov. 1, 1986 - The Golden Eagles defeated East Carolina on the road 23-21 in the infamous "forward lateral game." Lyneal Alston caught a last-second pass then made a forward lateral to Randolph Brown who raced into the end zone. Officials ruled that the lateral was a forward pass and according to the rules, the defense had to take the results of the play (a touchdown) or the penalty which would give USM the ball deep in Pirate territory. Time had run out, but the rules also stated that the game could not end on a penalty and gave the Eagles another play. Rex Bank kicked a 31-yard field goal to seal the victory.

Sept. 19, 1987 - Seventeen-year-old quarterback Brett Favre came off the bench to make his debut against Tulane. He was inserted into the game with 5:48 left in the third quarter and led the Golden Eagles to a 31-24 triumph.

Sept. 26, 1987 - Favre made his first start for the Golden Eagles at Memorial Stadium in Jackson against Texas A&M.

Oct. 31, 1987 - Southern Miss met Division I-AA Jackson State in front of a crowd of 33,687, at Roberts Stadium, marking the first time that one of the big three schools in the state had played against a historically black school. The Golden Eagles won 17-7. Jim Carmody said "Jackson State is as good or perhaps better than a lot of the Division I teams that we play."

Nov. 14, 1987 - Cornerback James Henry returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown in a 38-34 victory over East Carolina at Roberts Stadium. Henry returned four punts in three consecutive games that season, setting an NCAA record.

Dec. 3, 1987 - Jim Carmody resigned as head coach. Carmody compiled a 37-29 record in six seasons.

Dec. 17, 1987 - Bill McLellan and Dr. Aubrey Lucas named Curley Hallman as the school's head coach. Hallman came to Southern Miss after serving as an assistant at Texas A&M.

Sept. 24, 1988 - The Golden Eagles won a 45-42 shootout at East Carolina that spotlighted Farve's talents. Favre set up the winning score with a 40-yard, line-drive pass that traveled the width of the field that went to Alfred Williams near the Pirate 10. Favre later called it "the hardest ball I had ever thrown."

Dec. 23, 1988 - It was the second appearance for the Golden Eagles in the Independence Bowl in a 38-18 victory over UTEP in which James Henry dazzled the crowd with a pair of third-quarter punt returns for touchdowns earning both the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Game awards.

Sept. 2, 1989 - The Golden Eagles played No. 6 Florida State in a "home" game at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. The contest had originally been set for Hattiesburg, but the town of Jacksonville offered $500,000 for the privilege of hosting this game. Favre threw a two-yard scoring pass to tight end Anthony Harris with 23 seconds left to give USM the 26-23 win.

Oct. 14, 1989 - Southern Miss defeats Louisville 16-10 at Cardinal Stadium thanks to the "Miracle of Louisville." As the final seconds clicked down, Favre threw a hail mary pass that was tipped by Michael Jackson and caught by Darryl Tillman behind the UofL defenders who raced into the end zone as time expired to secure the victory.

Sept. 8, 1990 - Just weeks after having emergency surgery to have some of his small intestine removed, Favre returned to face No. 13 Alabama at Legion Field in Birmingham in Alabama's Gene Stallings coaching debut. Favre led the Golden Eagles to a 27-24 victory that afternoon. Jim Taylor calmly booted a 52-yard field goal with 3:35 left to give USM the win.

Nov. 27, 1990 - Curley Hallman left to become the head coach at LSU.

Dec. 2, 1990 - Bill McLellan named former Golden Eagle quarterback Jeff Bower as Hallman's replacement. Bower had spent the previous season as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, after holding that same position under Hallman at USM during the 1988 and 1989 campaigns.

Dec. 28, 1990 - Jeff Bower made his debut against North Carolina State in the All-American Bowl in Birmingham, Ala. The Golden Eagles lost 31-27, despite Favre throwing for 341 yards, which was a USM bowl game record at the time. The game also marked the final contest for Favre as a Golden Eagle.

April 1992 - Tony Smith selected in 1st round of the NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, utilizing draft pick after trading Brett Favre to the Green Bay Packers.

April 24, 1995 - The creation of Conference USA was announced at Harry Caray's Restaurant in Chicago with Michael L. Slive as the league's first commissioner. C-USA had 12 charter member institutions, six of which (Southern Miss, Houston, Tulane, Memphis, Cincinnati, Louisville) competed for the league's first championship in 1996.

Sept. 28, 1996 - The Golden Eagles played at Louisville in the school's first-ever Division I conference game and beat the Cardinals 24-7.

Nov. 9, 1996 - In a game that was for the inaugural Conference USA championship, Southern Miss lost a 56-49 overtime contest at Houston. The teams shared the league title that season.

June, 19, 1997 - The Southern Miss athletics department announced the return of the school's stadium as "The Rock." A replica of Faulkner Field was placed in the northwest corner of Roberts Stadium.

Nov. 15, 1997 - Throughout the season, the Golden Eagles had used the motto of "Unfinished Business" referring to its loss the previous season to Houston and the outright league championship. The Eagles defeated Houston 33-0 at Roberts Stadium guaranteeing at least a share of the league title. After the game, the Liberty Bowl extended an invitation to the Golden Eagles during an on-field ceremony.

Dec. 31, 1997 - Southern Miss caps off season by claiming a 41-7 victory over Pittsburgh in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. Sherrod Gideon was named the game's most outstanding player by catching three touchdown passes. The Eagles ended the season 9-3 and ranked No. 22 in the nation.

Dec. 30, 1998 - Southern Miss fell to Idaho 42-35 in the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho.

Jan. 15, 1999 - At 66 years-old, athletics director Bill McLellan announced his retirement.

Apr. 21, 1999 - University officials announced the appointment of Richard Giannini as athletics director, who will start his position on July 1.

Nov. 20, 1999 - The Golden Eagles captured a game at Louisville 30-27 to win their third C-USA title and a berth in the Liberty Bowl. Southern Miss used a trick play to keep the game-winning drive alive. Facing 4th and 5 at the Louisville 37, Jamie Purser set up to punt. Wide receiver Shawn Mills stood with his back to the ball near the USM sidelines where coach Jeff Bower appeared to be yelling at the player. In actually, Mills was carefully positioned on the line of scrimmage and he took off down the field when Bower told him to go at the snap of the ball. Purser threw the ball 26 yards to Mills for the first down which set up a 27-yard Brant Hanna field goal with 1:07 left to give USM the win.

Dec. 31, 1999 - The Golden Eagles concluded the season with a 23-17 victory over Colorado State in the Liberty Bowl. Defensive end Adalius Thomas was named the game's most valuable player and the Golden Eagles defensive most valuable player. USM finished No. 13 in the coaches' poll.

Dec. 20, 2000 - Southern Miss rallied to defeat No. 13 TCU in the GMAC Mobile, Ala., Bowl. Quarterback Jeff Kelly hit Kenny Johnson with a 29-yard touchdown pass with just seconds left that gave the Golden Eagles the 28-21 triumph.

July 2002 - Southern Miss opened the doors to its new Athletic Center, located at the north end of Roberts Stadium on the site of the school's old athletic fieldhouse. When the first floor of the new facility was ready, which housed the football locker rooms, training room and weight room, they were put to use.

Dec. 5, 2002 - Linebacker Rod Davis becomes the first Southern Miss and first defensive player to win the Conerly Trophy, given to the best collegiate player in the state of Mississippi.

March 2003 - The Athletic Center's second floor, site of the department's administrative as well as football offices, opened.

Nov. 20, 2003 - Southern Miss defeated No. 9 TCU 40-28 at "The Rock" with a national television audience watching, spoiling the Horned Frogs' bid to reach a BCS bowl.

Nov. 29, 2003 - The Golden Eagles nailed down the outright C-USA championship with a 31-28 victory at East Carolina. The victory gave Southern Miss a league-record for a season at 8-0.

Sept. 11, 2004 - Before 77,887 in Lincoln, Neb., the Golden Eagles opened the season with a 21-17 victory over Nebraska.

Aug. 29, 2005 - The gulf coast region was hit by Hurricane Katrina which forces the postponement of the Sept. 3, season opener against Tulane and forced the Golden Eagle football team to move to Memphis to continue their preseason preparations. The season eventually opened on Sept. 10, at Alabama, while the Tulane contest was played on Nov. 26.

Dec. 20, 2005 - Due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina, Southern Miss played Arkansas State in Lafayette, La., as the New Orleans Bowl was moved from the Louisiana Superdome. The Golden Eagles won the contest 31-19. Shawn Nelson earned the game's most valuable player honors by catching six passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.

Sept. 16, 2006 - Southern Miss knocked off North Carolina State 37-17 as freshman Damion Fletcher rushes for 177 yards and three touchdowns.

Nov. 26, 2007 - Coach Jeff Bower resigned following his 17th regular season. He ended his coaching career as the second-winningest coach in school history with a 119-83-1 mark. Bower stayed to coach the Dec. 22 Papajohns.com Bowl against Cincinnati in Birmingham, at Legion Field.

Dec. 12, 2007 - Larry Fedora named head coach, after spending the three previous seasons as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.

Oct. 4, 2008 - Damion Fletcher rushed for 260 yards, the second highest total in school history, against UTEP in double overtime loss at Roberts Stadium.

Oct. 18, 2008 - Quarterback Austin Davis threw for school-record 461 yards in a 45-40 loss at Rice.

Nov. 15, 2008 - Austin Davis connected with wide receiver DeAndre Brown on a 97-yard scoring pass, which is the longest in school history, in a 21-3 win over East Carolina at "The Rock."

Dec. 21, 2008 - Southern Miss rallied in the fourth quarter and Michael McGee blocked a field goal in overtime to defeat Troy 30-27 in the New Orleans Bowl as the Golden Eagles won their final five games of the season. Britt Barefoot hit a 39-yard field goal in overtime, which proved to be the difference.

Sept. 19, 2009 - The Golden Eagles engineered their biggest come-from-behind victory at home in a 37-34 win over Virginia. Freddie Parham collected a 100-yard kickoff return in the contest.

Nov. 21, 2009 - Quarterback Martevious Young hit DeAndre Brown on a 95-yard scoring pass, the second longest scoring pass play in school history, in a 44-34 win over Tulsa at Roberts Stadium.

Nov. 13, 2010 - Southern Miss defeated No. 25 UCF in Orlando, 31-21.

Nov. 5, 2011 - The Golden Eagles registered four non-offensive touchdowns to collect a 48-28 victory at East Carolina. Southern Miss returned two interceptions for scores, while also returning a punt for a touchdown and blocking another one for a score.

Dec. 3, 2011 - Austin Davis threw four touchdown passes and Southern Miss ruined Houston's perfect season and BCS hopes with a 49-28 Conference USA championship game victory at Robertson Stadium in Houston. Leading 21-14 at halftime, the Golden Eagles scored three third-quarter touchdowns to put the game away.

Dec. 8, 2011 - Richard Giannini, the school's athletics director, announced his retirement effective in January. Senior Associate Athletics Director Jeff Hammond named interim director.

Dec. 9, 2011 - North Carolina announced the hiring of Larry Fedora as football coach, effective following the USM's appearance in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.

Dec. 20, 2011 - Ellis Johnson named 19th head coach in the school's history. Johnson was a former assistant coach for the school during the 1988 and 1989 seasons.

Dec. 24, 2011 - In Larry Fedora's final game as the Golden Eagle head coach, Southern Miss capped a school-record 12-win season with a 24-17 victory over Nevada in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.

June 6, 2012 - Jeff Hammond named fifth full-time athletics director.