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Southern Miss announces several changes to football staff

Jackson Kennedy
Southern Miss head football coach Will Hall recently announced changes to his staff.

The Golden Eagle Football team is making changes to its coaching staff after a disastrous 2023 season.

Southern Miss head coach Will Hall decided to fire Defensive coordinator/safeties coach Dan O’Brien, defensive line coach Brandon Lacy, and tight ends coach Cayden Cochran according to multiple reports, first reported by ESPN.

The announcement came after Southern Miss finished the 2023 season with a 35-17 loss to Troy, which caused Southern Miss to finish with a 3-9 record, the third losing season in the past four years.

All three of the coaches were brought in by Hall when he was hired ahead of the 2021 football season. The move says a lot about the need for change when the program cleans house with more expected to come.

O’Brien coached the defense this season after taking the reins from previous defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong. Although the defense did endure several injuries, O’Brien coached one of the worst defenses in the country.

The defense allowed 35.8 points per game; only five teams in the country allowed more.

Cochran was the tight ends coach for all three seasons and this year, coached a tight end room that saw a significant step back from the 2022 season. The tight end room was led by Cole Cavallo, who made just nine catches for 96 yards all season.

The defensive line also saw a significant step back in 2022; they were ranked No. 4 in sack total with 44 in 2022 but only recorded 25 sacks in 2023.

Hall also mentioned on his weekly “Super Talk Eagle Hour” segment that there would be a new offensive coordinator for next season.

“Yes,” Hall said on the program. “Like I said, our offensive struggles over the last few years were my fault. We’re gonna move forward from there.”

Along with multiple players entering the transfer portal, the 2024 Southern Miss football program might look vastly different.

“We’re going to get kids out of the portal, and we’re going to lose kids out of the portal – that’s called college athletics,” Hall said. “Everything in college athletics is a year-to-year basis. I think we treat our kids right and I think they love being here. I think they prove that every day with the way they help us recruit, and that’s the environment we create.”

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