Southern Miss Football officially names new defensive coordinator

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 7:02 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The University of Southern Mississippi’s football program officially announced who will fill the vacant defensive coordinator position.

The appointment was announced following the departure of then two-year defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong after he joined Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s staff in Tuscaloosa Friday.

Thursday afternoon, Southern Miss head coach Will Hall officially promoted fellow staff member Dan O’Brien as the next defensive coordinator of the Nasty Bunch defense.

Coach O’Brien joined the Golden Eagle staff under Hall for the 2020 season as safeties coach. According to Southern Miss Athletics, he will remain in his role as safety coach for the upcoming season.

The promotion should not come as a surprise though as it was all but confirmed on Saturday that Hall would elevate a coach from within the program.

O’Brien has been the position coach for the Golden Eagles’ top tackler for the last two seasons, safety Malik Shorts, and safety Jay Stanley, who was named to the 2022 Action Network All-American Second Team last month and had a team-high five interceptions throughout the season.

Coach O’Brien will lead a Southern Miss defense next season that powered the Golden Eagles to its first bowl appearance since 2019 and its first bowl win since 2016.

The Nasty Bunch defense ranked in the Top 10 nationally amongst NCAA Division 1 football programs in interceptions made, recording 17, tackles for loss per game with just over 8 a contest, and sacks per game, averaging just over 3 sacks a game during the 2022 season.

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