Southern Miss lost defensive backs coach Je'Ney Jackson to "an unspecified basketball program." Now, the Golden Eagles will be looking to replace Jackson as soon as possible with camp starting in a few weeks. The coaching tree has come up with three potential replacements:
Perry Carter is the assistant defensive backs coach for the NFL's Houston Texans. He is going into his first year in that position after four years as a defensive assistant with the team. Carter, who played defensive back at Southern Miss from 1989-93, would have to decide if the chance to coach at his alma mater is worth a recent promotion that he has been working towards since joining the Texans in 2006.
Allen Johnson coaches cornerbacks at UTEP, where he has been since 2008. Johnson spent the 2006 season as a quality control coach at Oklahoma State, where current Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora was the offensive coordinator. The question for Johnson would be if this is a step up from his current job, because he wouldn't leave for something considered a lateral move.
Fred Tate came to Marshall to coach their safeties in January after two years at Chattanooga. He spent three years coaching at Southern Miss from 2004-2006. He also coached the defensive line at Middle Tennessee in 2002, where current Southern Miss offensive coordinator Blake Anderson was the WR coach. Tate is also a Southern Miss alum, playing defensive line for the Golden Eagles in 1995 and '96.
Update: LSU assistant strength & conditioning coach Grady Brown has been named the new DB coach at Southern Miss.