Southern Miss to name Ellis Johnson new coach

Southern Miss is reportedly set to name Ellis Johnson as its new head football coach.

Johnson is currently the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach under Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, and would replace the outgoing Larry Fedora, who will leave the program for the top job at North Carolina after guiding the Golden Eagles in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.

According to the Hattiesburg American, Southern Miss could make it official as early as Tuesday.

Johnson is in his fourth season at South Carolina after serving four seasons as defensive coordinator at Mississippi State. He has head coaching experience with three seasons at the Citadel from 2001-03 and one year at Gardner-Webb (1983).

The Citadel went 12-22 under Johnson, but its 6-6 campaign in his final season of 2003 marked the best record for the military institution in six years.

Johnson has familiarity with Southern Miss, having served as defensive coordinator from 1988-89. He has also been an assistant on the collegiate level at Appalachian State, East Carolina, Alabama and Clemson.