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Released August 15, 2003

NEW GOLDEN EAGLE WIDE RECEIVERS COACH WARNER
HAS HAD A BUSY YEAR

HATTIESBURG - Two thousand three has been a whirlwind year for David Warner, the new wide receivers coach for the Southern Miss Golden Eagle football team. Warner has moved to a new city, gotten married, purchased a home, and on top of all that is now coaching a position he has never coached before.

"It's been very hectic," Warner said, adding: "I'm happy to be here. It's a great situation. I'm really hoping this is a place I can settle down and help continue to build on the tradition that's already been established here."

Part of settling down here for Warner was marrying the former Leigh Ann Hall last June. Warner said that he and his new wife are a perfect fit not only personally, but also professionally. Leigh Ann is currently the director of athletic development for the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation.

Warner arrived in Hattiesburg this past January to begin coaching the wide receivers, a duty that Head Coach Jeff Bower had previously handled himself.

But Warner said that coaching a position his current boss has coached up until now has not brought any added pressure.

"I think head coaches are always evaluating you, no matter what position you're coaching, and no matter what their background is," Warner said. "I don't feel any extra pressure coaching a position that Coach Bower's coached. He's sort of stayed back and let me do it. At the same time, I've gone to him and will continue to go to him for advice and for things he thinks I should be doing.

"He's been real good about just handling the head coaching duties, and letting me do my things, but at the same time, I'm always looking for input from him."

Coaching wide receivers differs from some of the coaching tasks Warner has undertaken in the past, which have included passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Houston, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Connecticut, and passing game and quarterbacks coach at Wyoming.

"As far as the difference in coaching, you're dealing with more guys, and a little bit different technique, as far as the finer points of route running, blocking and releases."

Warner said that a combination of things drew him to Southern Miss.

"Probably the number one thing is that I was with the University of Houston, so I was familiar with the conference and the tradition of Southern Miss," he said. "That's the key word there-tradition, the tradition of success that Coach Bower has established here. I wanted very much to be involved in a program where you expect to win. That sort of expectation level is something that was a big, big factor for me.

"Coach Bower is a big part of that because he has been the leader of that and has done such a great job."

Another deciding factor for Warner was the presence at Southern Miss of new offensive coordinator Rip Sherer, whom Warner has known for years.

When asked what Southern Miss looks like from the opposite sideline, something Warner got a taste of firsthand while coaching at Houston, Warner said, "We saw them as one of the top schools in Conference USA, and they showed it to us when we played them."

A three-year letterwinner at quarterback for Syracuse University from 1978-81, Warner likes to jog, play golf and get out on the lake on his Waverunner when he's not coaching. He has one daughter, Alexandria.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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