Ahead of Saturday’s season opener, Southern Miss has inked head coach Jay Hopson to an extension.
Hopson has agreed to a 4-year extension which will keep him in Hattiesburg until 2022. In his first two seasons at the helm of the Golden Eagle football team, Hopson has led his team to a 15-11 record. The 15 wins are tied for the most by any USM coach in their first two seasons.
After the extension was signed, Athletics Director Jon Gilbert stated that Hopson continues to be the right man for the job at USM.
“Jay’s leadership has brought stability to the football program resulting in winning seasons and bowl games in his first two years,” Gilbert said. “The progress seen in this program can be attributed to his passion for teaching and developing our student-athletes which aligns with all that we stand for at Southern Miss.”
Hopson, a Vicksburg native, said that he hopes to stay in Mississippi for a very long time.
“Southern Miss is where I want to be. I’m a Mississippi boy, I’m a south Mississippi boy and I love Southern Miss. You’re going to bury me in Vicksburg or Hattiesburg — one of the two. I’m going under the dirt right there, so I’m blessed to be here. It’s in my blood,” he said.
Hopson’s base salary of $500,000 will reportedly remain the same after the extension, but incentives have been increased throughout the contact.
Potential bonuses include a larger share of ticket sale revenue if improvements continue, $25,000 for a win over a Power 5 opponent, and $50,000 if USM finishes the season in the top-25.
Last season, USM finished 8-5 and fell to Florida State in the Independence Bowl.
The Golden Eagles open the 2018 season at home on Saturday against Jackson State.