By Al Jones/Sun-Herald (MCT)
Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora didn’t deny any interests in the Ole Miss vacancy when contacted Wednesday by the Sun Herald.
Instead, the fourth-year coach opted to keep all focus on Saturday’s Conference USA championship game at Houston.
No. 23 Southern Miss, 10-2, battles No. 6 Houston (12-0) at 11 a.m.
“All focus is on winning the conference championship this weekend in Houston,” Fedora said. “I am not talking about any speculations and my attention is on Houston. That’s all I can say.”
As far as causing any distraction for his players, Fedora said anything mentioning him with another job at this time is nothing short of rumors.
“It could (be a distraction) and that’s why I am saying it’s nothing more than rumors,” Fedora said. “Anybody with a smart phone or computer can put any rumor out there. We, including my staff, are only focused on winning a conference championship.”
Southern Miss athletic director Richard Giannini would not comment on whether Ole Miss has asked to speak to Fedora.
Giannini, however, will make a pitch when the season is over to keep Fedora at Southern Miss.
“I am not going to speculate other than his name is being mentioned for every job that is open,” Giannini said. “That’s a credit to his ability and a credit to the student athletes at Southern Miss.
“Right now, his total focus and energy is on winning the Conference USA championship game although his name is out there. We will sit down when the season is over and I will do everything I can to keep him a Golden Eagle. That does not mean he will not have an opportunity (to leave). We will do what we can to keep him here.”
Jackson State coach Rick Comegy was given a two-year contract extension. The 59-year-old Comegy just finished his sixth season at Jackson State (9-2), where he has a 41-26 record and won the 2007 SWAC championship. His new contract runs through the 2013 season, and will pay $191,580 per year, a three percent increase over his previous contract.