Southern Miss signs Hopson to a new four-year contract


HATTIESBURG – Southern Miss Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert announced Saturday that Golden Eagle football coach Jay Hopson has agreed to a new four-year deal. The contract runs through the 2021 season, ending on Jan. 31, 2022.

“Jay’s leadership has brought stability to the football program resulting in winning seasons and bowl games in his first two years,” Gilbert said in a release by the school. “The progress seen in this program can be attributed to his passion for teaching and developing our student-athletes which aligns with all that we stand for at Southern Miss.”

Hopson’s base salary remains the same at $500,000 a year, as he’ll earn $2 million over the life of the contract, which doesn’t include the bonuses.

If Hopson terminates his contract to coach at a different school, with equal to or more than his current salary, he’ll owe 50 percent of what’s left on his four-year deal. If the university terminates without cause, then Hopson will receive his salary for the remaining contract period.

A few benefits include: $25,000 for a victory over a team from one of the Power 5 conferences (Southern Miss travels to Auburn for its only matchup with a Power 5 team), $7,500 for a conference division title, $17,500 for a Conference USA Championship and $100,000 for participation in a New Year’s Six bowl game.

Hopson has an annual budget of $1,225,000 for 10 on-field assistant coaches, and he’s allowed to have four graduate assistant coaches.

In Hopson’s previous contract, nine assistants had an annual budget of $1,055,000 – a $117,222 per assistant average. In the new contract, the average comes out to $122,500.

“That’s always big,” he said. “Those guys work hard and they deserve so much for what they do for our university. You can’t put a monetary value the sacrifices that they make.”

Hopson has a 15-11 overall record at Southern Miss that is tied for most wins in school history for a head coach over the first two seasons (Curley Hallman, 1988-89). The Golden Eagles open the 2018 season next Saturday, Sept. 1, when they entertain Jackson State at 6 p.m. at M.M. Roberts Stadium.