Courtney Messingham makes the transition to running backs coach after coaching the wide receivers for the last two seasons. He is in his third season overall at Southern Miss and 17th year in the profession.
Joining the Golden Eagles allowed Messingham the chance to be reunited with offensive coordinator Jay Johnson, as both coached together at Truman State from 1995-96 and both played together at the University of Northern Iowa. Before his arrival at Southern Miss, he served as the head coach at Upper Iowa University from 2003-04.
Messingham had five different receivers finish with 300 or more yards receiving over the past two seasons, as they registered 27 touchdown receptions. They also garnered catches of 20 yards or more 48 times during that period for an average of 24 a year, including 23 receptions each from Damion Carter, Josh Barnes and Chris Johnson. The receiving corps caught 51 percent of the team's passes a year ago.
In 2005, Messingham guided a youthful group of receivers to a solid season. Despite losing All-Conference candidate Antwon Courington midway through the season, and several other key receivers to injury for several games, Messingham coached career-best, over 100-yard receiving performances, from Josh Barnes (103, Houston) and Chris Johnson (113, UAB), as the position produced five 100-yard receiving performances on the year. In addition, Courington and Johnson both caught two touchdowns against UCF, becoming the first Golden Eagle receiving duo to accomplish the feat in school history.
Before becoming head coach at Upper Iowa, he was on the offensive staff at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., serving as offensive coordinator for three years from 2000-02 and wide receivers/tight ends and special teams coach for the 1999 season. Prior to his stint at SMS, he was an assistant coach at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., serving as the offensive coordinator his last two years, while coaching the quarterback, running back, receiver, kickoff return and punt positions for four years (1995-99).
Messingham spent a two-year stint at Iowa Lakes Community College (1993-94) in Esterville, Iowa, serving as the offensive coordinator for two years. He was named the head coach in January 1995, before moving to Truman State for the 1995 season. As the offensive coordinator at Iowa Lakes, he coached the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends. Prior to that, he coached three years at St. Ambrose University (1990-92) in Davenport, Iowa, as a graduate assistant for one year (1990) before becoming the offensive coordinator the next two years, coaching the quarterbacks and tight ends.
Highlighting his coaching career, one of Messingham's wide receivers at Upper Iowa had 11 touchdown receptions, third most in the school's history and four receiving touchdowns in one game, second most in school history. His tailback had the longest touchdown run in the school history (95), and his starting quarterback threw a school-record seven touchdowns in one game, a school-record 36 completions in a game and accumulated game passing yard totals of 392, 407 and 427 yards.
At Southwest Missouri State, his 2001 offense produced a conference-best 432 yards per game, fourth in the school's history. His starting receiver set school marks for receptions and yards. His quarterback in 2000 started a game hitting 20-of-20 passes, setting an NCAA record. His receiver set a single-season record for receptions and career record for receiving touchdowns. He coached four Division II All-Americans at Truman State, including the 1996 Player of the Year. His running back finished with 2,140 yards as a senior and ended his career as the thirdleading rusher in NCAA history with 6,166 yards and 73 rushing touchdowns. He coached four all-conference players at Iowa Lakes Community College and the alltime receptions leader at St. Ambrose.
Messingham, who hails from Waterloo, Iowa, was a first-team all-state quarterback and an all-state shortstop at Waterloo West High School. He was named the Football Athlete of the Year in Waterloo for the 1984-85 school year.
He was a four-year letterwinner at The University of Northern Iowa, while earning his bachelor of technology degree, majoring in mechanical design with a coaching endorsement in 1990. He earned his master's degree in business administration, along with 12 hours of graduate studies in physical education from Northern Iowa in 1992.
Messingham and his wife, Carol, a 1990 graduate of Northern Iowa with a bachelor's degree in accounting, have a daughter, Taylor.