With Johnson at USM, Stoops-to-South Carolina rumors begin in earnest

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Following up on the initial reports from last night, South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson was indeed named the new head coach of Southern Miss today, replacing Larry Fedora, who moved on to North Carolina.

Fedora will coach the Golden Eagles in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24. Ellis, however, said he will not be with the Gamecocks on Jan. 2 when they take on Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.

Assistant Lorenzo Ward Will Likely take over play-calling duties for the Gamecocks’ D, but USC may not miss a beat in replacing Ellis after the game. The State‘s Josh Kendall reported today that former Arizona coach Mike Stoops is interested in the job. Stoops is close with Steve Spurrier Jr. and the two have reportedly spoken recently.

Stoops, who was fired from Arizona earlier this year, had also been connected to DC jobs at Ohio State and Nebraska.