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Five Questions with Head Coach Todd Monken

Aug 23, 2013

Coach Monken

1) How has the local community embraced you and your family so far?
"It's been great. My son and my wife got down right around spring break and we got him in school. It's a great community; everybody is very supportive of Southern Miss athletics, so the transition has been great. Especially seeing the excitement build as we get closer to the upcoming season."

2) What have all your experiences (GA at Notre Dame, LSU, Oklahoma State and the NFL) done to prepare you for this upcoming season?
"It starts with all my family being in coaching, to then the different stops I have had and the knowledge you gain along the way."

"You also gain things from your own staff. Obviously your latest stops end up being what's most fresh on your mind. Whether it's with Oklahoma State, or the Jacksonville Jaguars or with LSU. Those are the things that end up being the freshest on the mind."

3) What does "Rise to the Top" mean to you?
"It starts with the University, in terms of the education a young man gets and the retention of your students."

"Obviously when you provide a quality education and the students have a great experience, they give back. That adds to the strength of your University overall. You then have kids that not only want to play championship football, but they want to be in a great place."

"I think the other thing is for everyone to give that unconditional support. I think Rise to the Top is showing your true colors as fans. At the end of the day, its not really what you do, but who you're with. So I think that's also part of what it is."

4) What's the most exciting thing about coaching at the collegiate level?
"I don't care what you make, or what your title is, you like to be told thank you and that you did a good job. I don't care what we do as human beings, we are need based."

"So there is nothing like getting a text message, Facebook message, or email from players you have coached that say thank you, or, I didn't realize it then, but I do now. I appreciate you looking after me. So when you say that to your players, you say guys, now you know how I tick."

"So, if the players understand what makes you tick, they understand why I got to hold you to this. Those are the things that really sit with me, and the reason I do what I do. So now [my players] know why I hold them to a certain standard, and if they don't like it, or aren't a high achiever, they aren't going to like being here."

5) Is there one person, or idol, that you have always looked up to and have modeled your coaching after?
"I don't know if there is one idol. I have been blessed to be around a lot of really good coaches, starting with my dad and his four brothers who were all coaches. I have also been fortunate to be around a lot of really successful coaches. So I don't think I could pick one that has completely impacted my coaching style."

"There are a lot of people that impact you, not only philosophically, but also from a job standpoint. You're not where you're at if they don't hire you, or you don't get certain places, if they don't take you with them. Let's face it, if you got good players, you're a good coach. I have been in a lot places where we have been lucky enough to coach a lot of great players and they have made me look better, so it's too hard to pinpoint one coach or one player."

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