As a boy, Curley Hallman listened intently on Saturday nights to LSU games on the radio. He remembers the overwhelming crowd noise as a Texas A&M player venturing into Tiger Stadium.
On Tuesday, Hallman was named Louisiana State's head coach and said he hopes he never has to look for another job."I'm happy. I'm excited. I hope to coach for a long, long time," Hallman, who led Southern Mississippi to two bowl games in the past three years, said. "I hope I can retire at this university."
The LSU Athletics Council unanimously approved Hallman's hiring after a closed meeting with him, athletic director Joe Dean and LSU chancellor William "Bud" Davis.
The 43-year-old Hallman will receive a five-year contract paying him $85,000 a year. The hiring still must be approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors, which is considered a formality.
Hallman replaces Mike Archer, who resigned earlier this month after reports surfaced that he was about to be fired.
Hallman, an Alabama native, rooted for LSU as a boy and played against the Tigers as an All-Southwest Conference defensive back at Texas A&M.
"I know the school," Hallman said. "I know the potential. The potential is unlimited."
Southern Mississippi is 23-11 in three years under Hallman. This year, the Golden Eagles had road victories over Auburn and Alabama - the first team outside the Southeastern Conference to do that since 1907 - and are headed for the All American Bowl. The team played eight road games this season.
Hallman said officials at Southern Mississippi will decide whether he coaches in the Dec. 29 bowl game. Hallman said he wants to coach the game, but said it might create a conflict with his recruiting duties for LSU. The high school recruiting season begins Dec. 1.
"I'd love to coach it, but I don't know if I can," he said. "I could do it, but it might turn into a distraction."
Although Hallman said he had some "strong ideas" about his coaching staff, he planned to meet with members of Archer's staff before making any decisions.
Asked what kind of team he would field, Hallman said: "It's going to be a football team that plays hard . . . I'm not going to promise a number of wins. If I could do that, I'd be Curley the Greek."