In just one season, Southern Miss took a dramatic turn for the worse. Following a season that saw it go 13-2, win a conference championship, win a bowl game and shatter all kinds of offensive records, went directly the opposite direction in 2012.
Another record the Golden Eagles would like to forget was set instead. Until this season, no team had ever won 12 games and turned around the lost 12 the very next year.
The veteran staff that was put together by Coach Johnson looked to bring stability, but instead this season for the Golden Eagles was marred by question marks and lack of identity.
Now Southern Miss is eager to put this season behind them and begin the path to rebuilding.
Fans can rest assured that a decision will be made sooner rather than later to secure the commits already on board as well as round out the ever important class of 2013.
Athletic Director Jeff Hammond issued this statement:
"Following a thorough assessment of our football program, I made the recommendation to our University President that we not retain Ellis Johnson as our head football coach. Dr. Lucas accepted my recommendation and earlier this morning I informed Ellis Johnson that he will not return in the future as our head football coach.
"At Southern Miss we expect to compete hard and succeed both in the classroom and on the field. This is not the exception…This is in fact the standard, the norm, our identity and who we are. "In this regard, we have already initiated a search for a new head coach.
"We will move rapidly in this effort seeking a dynamic leader with the character to lead our program back to prominence.
"Today marks a new beginning, a new season and a new start. Thus I ask all members of the Southern Miss Family for your support, now more than ever. We must unite and come together as one through this transition period. Please let dignity, respect and love for Our Great University be our watchwords.
"Southern Miss To The Top!"