Tom Rossley, the quarterback coach for the Atlanta Falcons, was hired as coach at Southern Methodist Saturday.
Rossley, 44, returned to the school where he was offensive coordinator after the Mustang program was suspended for two years by the NCAA.
Forrest Gregg resigned as coach in November so he could concentrate on being athletic director.
“I never dreamed I would be coming back here as head football coach,” Rossley said. “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. The school’s high academics have never been a problem with me. We don’t want to admit a player who we don’t think can graduate.”
The Mustangs were 3-19 under Gregg in the two years since returning to football.
“I think Tom has one of the best offensive minds in the country and he believes in what we stand for at SMU,” Gregg said. “This will help in our continuity. It’s his offense.”
Terms of Rossley’s contract were not disclosed.
Asked why he took the job, Rossley said: “There is a great recruiting base in Dallas. Once we get to where we can win, then it will snowball into the greatest job.
“I think we can be very competitive next year. We’ll have a lot of juniors.”
SMU was 1-10 this year, beating Vanderbilt, 44-0, in the opener. The Mustangs haven’t won on the road and haven’t beaten a Southwest Conference opponent since their return to football.
Rossley will honor his commitment to the Falcons for their final three games, the last Dec. 30 at Atlanta against the Dallas Cowboys.
“I’ll be doing some recruiting on the telephone in my spare time,” Rossley said.