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Southern Miss Coach Todd Monken Announces Hiring of Six Assistant Football Coaches

Jan. 4, 2013

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss football coach Todd Monken began assembling his staff for the 2013 season by announcing the hiring of six full-time assistant coaches Friday, including offensive coordinator/outside receivers coach Marcus Arroyo, defensive coordinator/linebackers coach David Duggan, offensive line coach Pete Perot, running back coach John Simon, safeties coach Andrew Thacker and inside wide receivers/special teams coach John Wozniak.

Monken also announced that Steve Buckley has been retained on the staff and will serve as recruiting coordinator. The remainder of the staff will be announced at a later date.

"I am pleased with this outstanding group of coaches that have begun to make up our staff for the 2013 season," Monken said. "It is a challenging process to blend together the right group of people to make up a staff and this group brings tremendous credentials as we continue to work hard in recruiting as well as getting ready for spring practice."


Here are the biographical sketches on each of the new Golden Eagle assistant coaches joining the staff for next season:

Marcus Arroyo - Offensive Coordinator/Outside Receivers Coach

Marcus Arroyo joins the Southern Miss staff as the offensive coordinator and outside receivers coach after two successful seasons at the University of California.

Arroyo was on coach Jeff Tedford's staff for two seasons, including his second campaign with the Golden Bears as the pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach after receiving a promotion following his 2011 season as the quarterbacks coach. The former San Jose State quarterback has spent the last 11 seasons coaching at the collegiate level, including four as an offensive coordinator or co-offensive coordinator.

Under Arroyo's guidance, Cal quarterback Zach Maynard worked himself into the No. 10 spot on the career list at the school in both passing yards (5,204) and total offense (5,350) in only two seasons. His 128.36 career passer efficiency rating is eighth on the school's all-time list.

Cal had a much improved offense in 2011 during Arroyo's first-year of working with the team's quarterbacks, especially in the passing game where the Golden Bears jumped from No. 94 in 2010 (175.08 ypg) to No. 46 in 2011 (246.62 ypg). Cal also rose from No. 90 (334.00 ypg) to No. 44 (401.46 ypg) in total offense in his first season. In addition, Cal moved up 20 spots to No. 53 nationally in scoring, improving from 25.8 points per game the previous season to 28.3.

Prior to joining Cal, Arroyo served for two seasons at Wyoming as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks' coach during the 2009 and 2010 campaigns. He helped develop 2009 true freshman quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels into the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year and the Offensive MVP of the 2009 New Mexico Bowl. Carta-Samuels completed 59.7 percent of his passes in two campaigns under Arroyo's guidance.

Arroyo made a significant impact in his first season at Wyoming in 2009 when he installed a new spread offense that helped the Cowboys score 30 or more points five times, winning all five of those games. Arroyo's offense displayed an ability to come from behind in his first season, recording five fourth-quarter comebacks. His offensive unit also did an outstanding job of protecting the ball. Wyoming ranked No. 7 in the nation in fewest turnovers lost (14) and was No. 15 nationally in both fewest fumbles lost (7) and fewest interceptions thrown (7).

When Wyoming captured the 2009 New Mexico Bowl title, it marked the second time in four seasons that Arroyo was part of a New Mexico Bowl winning team. His other victory in the game came in 2006 while he was coaching at San Jose State. Prior to his stint at Wyoming, Arroyo was the co-offensive coordinator for two seasons and quarterbacks coach for three campaigns at his alma mater, San Jose State. He was the quarterbacks' coach and play-caller for the Spartans in 2006, before being promoted to co-offensive coordinator for his final two seasons in 2007 and 2008 under head coach Dick Tomey.

From 2006-07, Arroyo tutored the Spartans' all-time leading passer and total offense leader Adam Tafralis, who set school records for career passing yards (7,548) and total offense (8,111). Tafralis went on to sign a free agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL in the spring of 2008. He also played three seasons (2008-10) with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, and spent time on the rosters of both the United Football League's Sacramento Mountain Lions (2011) and the CFL's Toronto Argonauts (2012) before his retirement from football. Arroyo also spent one season at San Jose State in 2005 as a graduate assistant coach on the offensive side of the ball before being elevated to a full-time assistant in 2006.

Arroyo began his collegiate coaching career in 2003, serving as an undergraduate assistant coach at his alma mater for one year. In 2004, he was the offensive coordinator at Prairie View A&M, an NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team in Prairie View, Texas.

Arroyo played quarterback at San Jose State in 1998 and from 2000-02. He finished his career among the Spartans' all-time leaders in passing yards (No. 9, 4,603), total offense yards (No. 9, 4,525) and passing efficiency (No. 10, 115.6). Arroyo's legacy at San Jose State includes being the quarterback or play-caller for four consecutive bowl-eligible teams Spartans (2000, 2002, 2006, 2008). Arroyo received his bachelor's degree in kinesiology at SJSU in 2003.

He and his wife, Kelly, were married on July 9, 2010. Kelly began her collegiate athletic career as a volleyball player at Southern Oregon and later was a swimmer at San Jose State.

David Duggan - Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers

After spending a year on the coaching staff at North Carolina, former Golden Eagle assistant David Duggan returns to the to take over the Golden Eagle defense.

In his last season with the program in 2011, Duggan assumed the role of co-defensive coordinator while also coaching the linebackers. That year, the Golden Eagle defense set an NCAA record for most interceptions returned for touchdowns and was as opportunistic and ferocious as any unit in the nation. The 2011 Golden Eagles scored 12 non-offensive touchdowns en route to winning the 2011 Conference USA championship.

At North Carolina, Duggan assumed the role as outside linebackers and special teams coach for the Tar Heels. In his lone season with the program, UNC's Bandit and Ram position starters helped lead Carolina to an 8-4 finish, their best winning percentage since 1997. The Carolina special teams were just that as the team blocked three punts, returned a kickoff for a touchdown, and kicker Casey Barth was 15-of-19 on field goals including going 5-of-7 between 40 and 49 yards. Barth was also a perfect 44-of-44 in his point after attempts.

Over his initial four-year span with the Golden Eagles, Duggan's linebackers were the centerpieces of the defense, headlined by names like Korey Williams, Ronnie Thornton and Jamie Collins. Even in 2011, as injuries sidelined Williams for much of the season, the top three Golden Eagle linebackers combined for 265 tackles, 34 tackles for loss and two interceptions returned for touchdowns. In his third season, Duggan's three primary starters combined for 230 tackles, 6.5 sacks and 26 tackles for loss.

Duggan began his tenure with Southern Miss in 2008 after serving as the head coach of the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe from 2006-07. During his time as head coach, his defense ranked No. 1 in the league both seasons.

His history with the league stretched back to the 2000 season as he worked as defensive coordinator for Cologne from 2003-05 and then in the same role for the Berlin Thunder from 2000-03. His defenses ranked No. 1 in the league in both seasons as an assistant at Cologne and he twice was a member on the staff that won the World Bowl (IX in 2001 and X in 2002) with Berlin.

Prior to his experience in NFL Europe, Duggan was the defensive coordinator at Brown University from 1997-2000 in which the team won the 1999 Ivy League Crown. Duggan went to Brown, after working at Colgate (1995-97) as the inside/outside linebackers coach, as well as the kickoff coverage coach. The Raiders captured the 1996 Patriot League title and played in the Division I-AA playoffs that season. Duggan was the inside linebackers coach at Holy Cross from 1992-95, after spending 1988-1992 at New Hampshire, his alma mater, as the inside linebackers coach leading the team to the 1991 Yankee Conference championship and the Division I-AA playoffs that year.

His first coaching job was at Alleghany College (1987-88), where he was the inside linebackers and strength and conditioning coach. The Gators captured the 1987 North Coast Athletic Conference crown and participated in the NCAA Division III national playoffs.

Duggan earned his Bachelor's degree from New Hampshire in 1986 and was a member of the football team from 1982-86, in which he served as a co-captain his senior season.

He and wife, Lynne, have two daughters, Olivia and Grace.

Pete Perot - Offensive Line

Pete Perot returns to Southern Miss for the second time as he becomes a member of coach Todd Monken's staff following a successful 12-year run at Louisiana Tech.

Perot previously served as a member of coach Jeff Bower's staff from 1997 to 1999 in the same capacity. Under Perot's direction, the Golden Eagle offensive line paved the way for a 1,000-yard rusher each season (Harold Shaw in 1997 and Derrick Nix in 1998 and 1999).

One of the most distinguished offensive line coaches in the game today, Perot had been a member of the Bulldog staff for a total of 23 years, beginning in 1986 as a volunteer assistant after his playing days. In 1988, Perot was tabbed to lead the offensive line, a position he held until coming to the Golden Eagles in 1997. Following the 1999 season, Perot returned to Ruston and had been a mainstay ever since. In 2009, Louisiana Tech's offensive finished 29th national in rushing and 46th nationally in scoring. That year, Daniel Porter became the school's all-time leading rusher with 3,352 career yards and was just the second player in school history to record consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

Over the previous two seasons, Perot tutored lineman Stephen Warner to back-to-back All-WAC First Team honors and Kris Cavitt to first team honors in 2011. The 2012 Bulldogs led the nation in total offense and helped quarterback Colby Cameron to Offensive Player of the Year and running back Kenneth Dixon to Freshman of the Year honors in the WAC. Two more Tech linemen earned second team honors in 2012 as well. Perot's lined paved the way for an offense that also finished second nationally in total offense, fourth in passing and 18th in rushing. Dixon, who also earned Freshman All-American honors, broke Marshall Faulk's NCAA records for most rushing touchdowns season by a freshman (27), most touchdowns in a season by a freshman (28) and most points scored in a season by a freshman (168).

Perot's professional playing career included stops at the NFL level with the Philadelphia Eagles (1979-84) and New Orleans Saints (1985-86), highlighted by his start for Philadelphia in Super Bowl XV. He played collegiately at Northwestern State where he stated all four years before being drafted in the second round of the 1979 NFL Draft.

Perot is married to the former Kate Adams of Hodge, La., and the couple has two sons, Joey and Josh.

Andrew Thacker - Safeties

Andrew Thacker joins coach Todd Monken's first staff at Southern Miss after spending the previous three seasons as a defensive graduate assistant at Oklahoma State.

While with the Cowboys, Thacker assisted with the development of the linebacker corps, including Caleb Lavey and Shaun Lewis to All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors in 2012.

Prior to joining the staff in Stillwater, Thacker spent two seasons with UCF after his playing career at Furman was over.

Collegiately, Thacker was a four-year letterwinner at Furman as a safety and was named the 2004 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. The Paladians were 35-15 during his four-year career and made three NCAA FCS playoff appearances, including a semifinal run in 2005.

Thacker earned his undergraduate degree from the university in political science and Spanish. He also earned spots on the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll all four years and was a GTE Academic All-District honoree in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

A native of Cumming, Ga., Thacker is the son of Mickey Thacker and step-parents Donna and Bruce Miller.

John Wozniak - Inside Wide Receivers/Special Teams

John Wozniak, no stranger to Conference USA, joins coach Todd Monken's first staff where he will lead the special teams as well as coach the outside wide receivers.

Wozniak comes to the Golden Eagles after spending one season on the staff of the Alabama Crimson Tide, the reigning BCS National Champions. In Tuscaloosa, Wozniak primarily served as an off-the-field administrator and assistant, helping prepare game film and scouting preparations.

The 1999 graduate of Knox College is no stranger to success or to working with Coach Monken. The two share an alma mater and worked together at LSU in 2005 when Monken was the passing game coordinator and Wozniak served as a quality control assistant. That year, the Tigers finished 11-2 and played in the SEC Championship game and the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.

Prior to his stint this season with Alabama, Wozniak was the running backs coach and co-special teams coordinator at UAB for the 2011 season.

Wozniak has been on the staffs of several successful programs since he began his coaching career in 1999. In 2010, Wozniak served as offensive coordinator at West Georgia. He has also coached at Memphis (2009), Montana State (2008), Georgia Southern (2006), LSU (2005 and 2007), Oklahoma State (2004) and Knox (Ill.) College (1999-2003).

Wozniak was the special teams coordinator at Memphis in 2009 and held similar responsibilities, along with coaching tight ends, at Montana State in 2008. While at Montana State, all three of Wozniak's position players earned All-Big Sky Conference honors. Tight end Brandon Bostick led the team in touchdowns and was third in receptions despite playing in just seven games. Punter Erik Fisher ranked 15th nationally averaging 41.8 yards per kick, and place kicker Jason Cunningham was 13-of-19 on field goal attempts. The punt return unit blocked five punts during the season, as the squad was 7-5 overall and 5-3 in the Big Sky.

Wozniak spent one season at Georgia Southern where he held the position of tight ends and special teams coach. The Eagles led the Southern Conference and ranked 14th nationally in kickoff returns, and they also ranked 29th nationally in punt returns. He has also been a member of two national championship staffs, having worked at LSU also during the 2007 season as a quality control coach with the Tiger receivers and quarterbacks. During that season, LSU finished the season with the No. 11 scoring and rushing offense in the nation.

Wozniak is a 1999 graduate of Knox College where he earned degrees in physics and secondary education while performing on the field as a standout all-conference quarterback and wide receiver.

John Simon - Running Backs

John Simon joins coach Todd Monken's first staff to lead the running backs after a successful run as a coach and administrator at Franklin D. Roosevelt High in the Dallas ISD.

During the 2012 season, Simon served as the school's athletic director after hiring a head coach to lead the program where he remained on staff as an assistant coach after spending the 2011 season as the interim head coach. Prior to becoming the interim head coach, Simon was the school's assistant athletic director for two seasons and served as the team's special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach.

Simon is known throughout the country through various seminars and attendance at THSCA Coaches Convention, AFCA Coaches Convention, and has also participated in the NFLPA Coaching Symposium and NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy. He has also made a career of motivational speaking through his own non-profit organization, I.M.A.G.E., focusing on improving minority areas and speaking to at-risk youth.

To his credit at Roosevelt, Simon helped develop Patrick Levels into a Division I defensive back. Levels now stars at Baylor University for Coach Art Briles.

Simon spent three years in the National Football League, two years with the Washington Redskins and one season with the Tennessee Titans.

During his collegiate and professional career, Simon crafted his knowledge of the game and coaching style after being led by such legendary coaches as Jeff Fisher, Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs, Gary Crowton, Hugh Jackson and his familiarity to Monken goes back to his playing days at Louisiana Tech where Monken was his running backs and then later wide receivers coach. Simon also ran behind current offensive line coach Pete Perot's line for the Bulldogs.

Over his playing career at Louisiana Tech, Simon was a four-year starter and team captain during his senior season and helped lead the Bulldogs to their first WAC championship and bowl appearance in 11 years. On the ground, Simon generated 4,852 all-purpose yards and moved to wide receiver during his senior campaign where he extended his streak of games with a catch to a then-NCAA record 46 games, which encompasses every game of his career. He received the Humanitarian Award during the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl and was a recipient of the Louisiana Tech President's Award. Coaches routinely called on Simon to host recruits during his career where he was considered one of the team's best.

Simon is married to the former Cecelia Stroy, who he met while attending Louisiana Tech, and the couple has two children, John IV (7), and James (5).

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