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Ellis Johnson
Ellis  Johnson

Head Coach


Southern Miss Falls to Arkansas, 24-3

Allan Bridgford threw for 133 yards on 33 attempts.


Post Game Quotes

Memphis 42, Southerm Miss 24


Southern Miss Gears Up for Memphis on Chilly Tuesday

Southern Miss and Memphis kickoff at 3:30 p.m.


Golden Eagle Hotline with Ellis Johnson Returns Tuesday Night


Post Game Quotes

UTEP 34, Southern Miss 33


Golden Eagles Fall Short to UAB, 27-19

Jalen Richard had one touchdown and ran for 82 yards.


Southern Miss Suffers 59-24 Defeat

Southern Miss remains winless after loss to Marshall.


Southern Miss Drops 40-14 Decision to Boise State

Eagles fall to 0-5 on the season.


Turnovers Plague Golden Eagles in 24-14 Loss to ECU

Chris Campbell passes for 145 yards and a touchdown.


Golden Eagles Fall Short at Nebraska, 49-20

Backup quarterback Anthony Alford carries 15 times for 84 yards.

Ellis Johnson, long hailed as one of the country's top defensive strategists, begins his first season as the head coach of the Golden Eagles.

Johnson becomes the Golden Eagles' 19th head coach after spending the previous four seasons at the University of South Carolina where he served as the Gamecocks' defensive coordinator. He also held the title of assistant head coach.

"Southern Miss is special," said Johnson during a packed news conference to announce his hiring on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. "From the time I worked here it has held a special place in my heart. It's a place where I am convinced you can always be successful."

Johnson is no stranger to Hattiesburg or Southern Miss football, having served as defensive coordinator on Curley Hallman's staff for two seasons (1988-89). His 39-year coaching career also includes stints as defensive coordinator at Mississippi State, Alabama, Clemson and Appalachian State. The Winnsboro, S.C., native also has previous experience as a head coach at Gardner Webb (1983) and The Citadel (2001-03).

In addition to his defensive coordinator role at South Carolina, Johnson also served as linebackers coach. In his final season with the Gamecocks, his defense ranked third nationally, allowing just 268 yards per game.

In Johnson's four years as director of the South Carolina defense, the Gamecocks finished in the Top 15 nationally in total defense three times. In addition to the 2011 mark of No. 4 overall, the USC defense ranked No. 13 in scoring defense (18.8 points per game) and second in pass defense (133 yards per game).

A 1975 graduate of The Citadel, Johnson played defensive end for the Bulldogs. He is married to the former Caroline Courie, a Columbia, S.C. native. They have two sons, Eli and Charlie, and a daughter, Sandra Elliott.

What Others are Saying...
Brett Favre
"Ellis is a great coach with a winning resumé who knows Golden Eagle football and its fan base. I'm confident Coach Johnson will do a great job."

Steve Spurrier
"We're excited for Ellis. Anytime you lose a coach you're not happy for yourself, but you're happy for the coach. We're happy for Ellis and Caroline. This is a great opportunity. Southern Miss is a place with wonderful tradition. Ellis is not only a great coach; he was also one of our best recruiters. He took the lead on the number one prospect in the country, Jadevon Clowney, last year. He was the lead man and we got it done."

Sylvester Croom
"Ellis Johnson is one of the best defensive minds I have encountered in my career. He is a leader who is passionate about the game and his players. Southern Miss is fortunate to have him as their head football coach."

Ellis Johnson and Family

From left to right: Ellis Johnson, Sandra Elliott, Eli, Charlie, Sandi and Caroline Johnson

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