Official: Ole Miss makes Matt Luke permanent coach

Mississippi coach Matt Luke, left, celebrates with players following their 31-28 win over Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Matt Luke’s interim campaign got him the permanent head coaching job at Ole Miss. The Rebels’ interim head coach will have the interim tag removed from his title.


Luke led Ole Miss to a 6-6 season — a season that came in the wake of Hugh Freeze’s resignation and a self-imposed bowl ban because of an NCAA investigation into the program. The Rebels got to .500 after beating Mississippi State on Thursday night and did so after quarterback Shea Patterson suffered a season-ending knee injury in October. 

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Freeze resigned from his job as Ole Miss’ head coach on July 20 after it was revealed he made calls to a phone number tied to an escort service from his school phone. Freeze said a call to a Tampa-area service was a misdial, but the school said his phone records revealed a pattern of conduct.

Luke, the team’s offensive line coach, was immediately named Freeze’s replacement.

After Ole Miss lost to Auburn in early October, the school had some bad timing in posting the job opening for the head football coach job on the same weekend. Ultimately, Ole Miss didn’t have to go outside the staff and find another candidate.

When he was introduced in July, Luke made it clear that he had his dream job. An Ole Miss graduate, Luke stated his case for getting the permanent job right away.

“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to be the head coach at the University of Mississippi,” Luke said then. “I’ve been an Ole Miss Rebel all my life. It’s all I can remember.

“I can’t believe that I’ve spent 14 years of my life as a player or coach here. I can truly tell y’all today that this is my dream job. It’s a job I’ve been preparing my whole life for. I feel more strongly now than ever that I’m the right man to run this program.”

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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