Southern Miss Hires Larry Fedora as 18th Head Football Coach
Fedora takes over the reigns of the Golden Eagle football program.
Dec. 12, 2007
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - University of Southern Mississippi President Martha Saunders and Director of Athletics Richard Giannini announced today the hiring of Larry Fedora as the 18th head football coach in the 91-year history of the program. The hiring is subject to approval by the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.
"This is a great day," said Saunders. "I've talked at length with Coach Fedora and feel that he has the best interest of the student-athlete at heart. I believe he can take us to the next level of excellence. It has been a collaborative, successful search process and I can't wait to be at The Rock in 2008."
Fedora, 45, comes to Southern Miss after spending the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State where the Cowboys have been in the top 10 in rushing yards per game and in the top 20 in total offense per game in each of the last two seasons. During Fedora's three-year tenure at OSU, the Cowboys have raised their rushing, passing and total offensive yards in each year that he has been there. In 2006, the Cowboys were one of just two teams - the other being Boise State - to average over 200 yards both rushing and passing.
The offense has averaged over 30 points per contest over the last two seasons as well. The Cowboys made the biggest improvement in the country in scoring following his second season of running the offense, jumping from 96th nationally in 2005 to seventh in 2006.
"Larry Fedora is an outstanding person in every respect and will make a terrific head coach," Giannini said. "Everyone we talked with raved about his ability as a coach, teacher and recruiter. Larry met our profile in seeking a coach with a great work ethic, drive and passion to be successful. He has an engaging personality and will interact very well with our athletes, students, faculty, staff and fans. Larry, his wife Christi and their four children will be a great addition to the State of Mississippi, the Pine Belt and the Southern Miss family."
Prior to his stint at Oklahoma State, Fedora spent three seasons at Florida where he served in the role of run game coordinator in 2002, perimeter game coordinator in 2003 and offensive coordinator in 2004. He also coached the running backs and receivers during those three seasons.
In 2004, Fedora's Gators ranked first in the Southeastern Conference in six different categories including passing offense (271.1), total offense (426.9), 3rd-down conversion percentage (47.8), touchdown passes (29), pass attempts (407) and pass completions (243).
Before going to Florida, Fedora was the offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee from 1999-2001. In three seasons at MTSU, Fedora's offense averaged 424 yards of total offense, 181 rushing yards and 31 points per game. With Fedora as their offensive coordinator, the Blue Raiders broke 43 school records over three seasons.
Fedora began his coaching career as a graduate assistant (1986) at Austin College. He then served as an assistant coach at Garland (TX) High School from 1987-90. Fedora then got back into the collegiate ranks in 1991, serving as the tight ends, wide receivers and running backs coach at Baylor, where he stayed until 1996. He then spent two seasons (1997-98) at Air Force coaching the passing game and wide receivers.
As a player, Fedora was a wide receiver at Austin College (1981-84). He helped lead the Kangaroos to the NAIA championship in 1981. He earned academic All-American honors in 1983, and honorable mention All-American in both 1983 and 1984.
Born on Sept. 10, 1962, in College Station, Texas, Fedora is a 1985 graduate of Austin College, where he also received his Masters degree from there in 1986. He is married to the former Christi Wood, and the couple has one son, Dillon, and three daughters, Sydney, Peyton and Hallie.
Here is what they are saying about Larry Fedora:
Grant Teaff - Executive Director of the American Football Coaches Association "Larry Fedora is one of the rising young coaches in America. He has done an outstanding job wherever he has been. I have watched him from his graduate assistant position at Baylor to his successfully taking over offenses at Middle Tennessee, Florida and now at Oklahoma State. I think he is ready to ascend to a head coaching position and I am convinced he will be very, very successful. "
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State Football Coach "Larry is ready for the job. He is disciplined, and a hard worker. He has great people skills and relates well to the players, and he'll put together a quality coaching staff. I think the people at Southern Mississippi will be very excited about the direction he will take them."
Mike Holder, Oklahoma State Director of Athletics "I think he will bring an exciting offense. He will put a team out there that will play hard and with enthusiasm. His team will win a lot of football games. At the end of the day, everyone at Southern Miss will be very proud to have him as their football coach."
T. Boone Pickens, Oklahoma State Alumnus "We hate to lose him. They got a great young man as a head coach. His work ethic is superb. His morals are the best. I can promise you, Larry can move the ball."
Ron Zook, Illinois Football Coach "Larry is one of the best coaches I have worked with in my time in college football. He has a great offensive mind and the ability to motivate his players. He has such a great passion for the game and kids he coaches. USM has found an outstanding leader in Larry."
Jeremy Foley, Florida Director of Athletics "Larry is an outstanding football coach. He has all the tools you are looking for in a coach. He knows the game, is a relentless recruiter and has good relationships with his players and staff. He understands the role of athletics within a university system and will be a good fit at Southern Miss. We wish him the best of luck."
Urban Meyer, Florida Football Coach "I have a lot of respect for Larry Fedora. He has an outstanding offensive mind and is a tremendous recruiter. He has a passion for the game and the young people involved in it. He is good for college football."
Fisher DeBerry, Former Air Force Football Coach "Southern Miss has certainly hit a home run with getting a great promising young coach to replace one of the best that ever coached the game. I thought Jeff did an outstanding job there and they are getting a great football coach in Larry Fedora to replace a great football coach. I know that the University is going to grow to love and embrace him. He is truly a great coach, but also a great person who will really care about his players. He will be one that the players will grow to love and respect. I think it will be a great marriage for everyone."