Reports: Ole Miss fires coach Luke after 3 seasons

Field Level Media

December 02, 2019 at 2:18 am.

Ole Miss fired head football coach Matt Luke on Sunday, according to multiple reports, three days after the Rebels finished the regular season at 4-8 with a crushing loss at rival Mississippi State.

Ole Miss scored the potential tying touchdown against the Bulldogs with four seconds left in regulation, but an excessive celebration penalty pushed the ensuing PAT back 15 yards, and kicker Luke Logan missed the attempt, sealing the Rebels’ 21-20 loss.

The defeat dropped Luke to 15-21 across three seasons leading Ole Miss. He took over as interim coach in 2017 after Hugh Freeze was forced to resign before training camp due to NCAA violations.

The Rebels went 6-6 that year, then 5-7 last season. They have not won more than six games in a season since 2015.

Luke, 43, played at Ole Miss as an offensive lineman from 1995-98, then coached for the Rebels as an assistant from 2002-05 before stints with Tennessee and Duke. He returned to Ole Miss as co-offensive coordinator and O-line coach in 2012.

Just over a week ago, athletics director Keith Carter backed Luke in comments to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger.

“I think our football program is headed in a great direction,” Carter said. “I’m so excited about coach Luke. He’s our coach.”