TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 13: Head coach Todd Monken of the Southern Miss Golden Eagles yells to his team during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
In a bit of surprise move the Buccaneers have added Southern Miss head coach Todd Monken as their offensive coordinator. New head coach Dirk Koetter said recently that he would continue to call plays, but Monken will most likely oversee game planning in the same way Leslie Frazier did for Lovie Smith defensively in 2015. In addition to his duties as offensive coordinator, Monken will also coach Tampa Bay’s wide receivers, likely meaning Andrew Hayes-Stoker’s Bucs coaching career is over.
Many assumed that QB coach Mike Bajakian would fall into place as the offensive coordinator following Koetter’s promotion, but it appears Koetter preferred to have Bajakian continue his role working side by side with Winston.
Monken comes to Tampa Bay from Southern Mississippi, where he spent the past three seasons as the school’s head coach (2013-15). After taking over a program that had finished 0-12 the previous season, Monken oversaw a dramatic turnaround that turned the Golden Eagles into post-season bowl participants by the end of his third campaign. Under Monken’s guidance, Southern Miss posted a 9-5 record in 2015, winning the Conference USA West division and earning an appearance in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
“I am very excited to add a coach with the type of experience and tenacity that Todd brings,” said Buccaneers Head Coach Dirk Koetter. “I have always been impressed with his approach to the game as well as his ability to teach concepts and get the best out of his players. During his more than 25-year coaching career, he has made a name for himself as a very successful offensive coordinator and head coach on the collegiate level. Todd also happens to be a terrific receivers coach with a proven track record of helping his players reach their true potential. We are fortunate to have him join our staff.”
In 2015, Monken’s Southern Miss team ranked in the top 20 in the country in scoring offense (13th, 39.9 ppg), passing offense (12th, 329.7 ypg) and total offense (12th, 509.5 ypg), all of which ranked second in Conference USA. Monken’s offense was one of the most explosive in the NCAA, with the Golden Eagles leading the nation in plays of 20+ yards (109) and ranking second in the country in plays of 30+ yards (54). He also oversaw the development of junior quarterback Nick Mullens, who set school records for passing yards (4,476), total touchdowns (41), passing touchdowns (38), completions (331) and pass attempts (521). Additionally, running backs Ito Smith and Jalen Richard each recorded at least 1,000 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Mike Thomas set school records in receptions (71), receiving yards (1,391) and receiving touchdowns (14). The Golden Eagles had 10 players named first- or second-team All-Conference USA in 2015, up from one such selection in 2013 and two in 2014.
Before joining Southern Miss, Monken spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Oklahoma State (2011-12), his second stint with the Cowboys, after having worked as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach from 2002-04. During his time as offensive coordinator, the team set school season records for total offensive yards, passing yards, completion percentage, points scored and passing touchdowns.
In 2012, Oklahoma State ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring offense (4th, 44.7 ppg), total offense (5th, 548.9 ypg) and passing offense (7th, 333.4 ypg). In 2011, Monken tutored quarterback Brandon Weeden, who helped lead the Cowboys to a school-record 12 wins, while setting single-season school records in pass attempts (565), completions (409), passing yards (4,727), passing touchdowns (37) and completion percentage (72.4) and ranking in the top 10 nationally in passing yards, touchdown passes and passing efficiency. Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon – the 2011 Biletnikoff Award Winner – were each first round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. Blackmon set a school record with 121 receptions in 2011.
Prior to his second stint at Oklahoma State, Monken spent four seasons (2007-10) working as the wide receivers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his time with Jacksonville, Monken coached Reggie Williams, who set the then-team record with 10 touchdown receptions in 2007, as well as Mike Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas, both of whom had career-highs in receiving yards under Monken.
Before entering the NFL, Monken served as the passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach at LSU from 2005-06, where he helped develop future first-round NFL Draft selections Dwayne Bowe and Buster Davis. He came to LSU after his first stint at Oklahoma State (2002-04).
Monken began his coaching career at Grand Valley State, spending two seasons as a graduate assistant (1989-90), before holding the same title at Notre Dame (1991-92). He then went on to Eastern Michigan, where he worked as the defensive backs/wide receivers coach (1993-97), before being elevated to the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (1998-99). Prior to joining the Oklahoma State staff, Monken served as the running backs coach (2000) and the wide receivers coach (2001) at Louisiana Tech.
A native of Wheaton, Ill., Monken was a three-year letterwinner at quarterback for Knox College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics (1989) and followed with a master’s degree in education leadership from Grand Valley State. He is a member of the Knox College Athletic Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Terri, have one son, Travis.
– Part of this report is courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications Department
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Another Oklahoma State connection. I’m not complaining. Go Bucs! Go Pokes!
This is going to be a great hire. I am a life long bucs fan, and I attend Southern Miss. I have seen Monken turn around the USM football program first hand. He took over a program that was depleted and had lost every game the season before he came. His overall record at USM is not impressive, but the first two years were really a wash because of the shape the team was in when he arrived. In his third year, USM went to the conference championship game, and he was named the conference’s coach of the year. He will be an excellent addition to the Bucs. Also do not hold Marcus Arroyo against him. Arroyo was the OC that Monken hand picked for his first year at USM, but Arroyo’s inability does not represent Monkey’s abilities. Arroyo was a guy that was overwhelmed because he should have never been calling plays in the NFL. Arroyo was not qualified to call plays. Monken is fully qualified for the job that he was hired to do. Monken will be great for the team.
Good insight Entre!
A little surprised, but okay. Go Bucs!
Thanks for the info Entre. With our young group of receivers Monken will have a lot of clay to mold. Seems he has an aggressive approach to offensive football. Now there’s a concept that’s been foreign around here.
Another good hire. Little outside the box which I like, we all thought he’d promote Bajock, but it’s better he stays Winston’s whisper. This also shows Koetters open to new ideas, and concepts.
This is a Hugh surprise.The coaching staff is bringing in great coaches.Can’t wait to see what they do with all the camps and see how the old as well as the new players Yelled. Go Bucs
This guy seems to have a similar background to Koetter when he came in to the NFL as an OC. College offensive guru with head coaching experience. He even has a year in the NFL. Maybe Koetter sees himself in this guy.
What is it with offensive coaches and visors? Gruden disciples? I guess it’s better than wearing Landry style hipster hats!
We already have more qualified OC’s on this staff than we did during the last two years combined.
Good intel Entre and you are right. I blamed Arroyo for the Bucs offensive woes during that lost season only because he was the OC. He should never have had that job to begin with. He just wasn’t qualified to do it.
IT still baffles me to this day why we didn’t get someone more qualified to do the job, even if it meant paying him a lot more money to only sign an interim deal.
No nothing about Monken but appreciate Entre’s insight and honestly am happy we’re going a little outside the box. One last remark on BucWild02’s comment about Tom Landry… Back when he was wearing that hat that look was still considered classic. Hipster’s stole that hat! If the visor’s what the Bucs need to bring respect back to red & pewter, I’m all for it.
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