Ole Miss somewhat surprisingly announced the firing of head coach Matt Luke on Sunday evening. The third-year head coach was let go following a 4-8 season. Luke went 15-21 in three years.
“After evaluating the overall trajectory of our football program, we did not see enough momentum on the field and determined a change is necessary in order for our student-athletes to compete at the highest level,” Ole Miss AD Keith Carter said in a statement. “While improvements were evident in certain aspects of the program, we are judged ultimately by our record, and, unfortunately, we did not meet the standard of success that we expect from our program.
“We will always be grateful to Coach Luke for his leadership, particularly from a recruiting, academic and overall culture standpoint. At the same time, winning is important, and we know that we can compete for championships at Ole Miss.”
Ole Miss players are reportedly furious with the decision.
At least 10 #OleMiss players have stormed out of the team meeting angry so far. Story coming later. Players are really unhappy.
— Nick Suss (@nicksuss) December 2, 2019
You’re going to have upset players anytime there’s a head coaching change, but this is to the extreme.
One Ole Miss player told reporters that “half” of the team is considering leaving the school, per USA TODAY:
After the meeting concluded, junior offensive lineman Chandler Tuitt said “half the team” is talking about leaving. Tuitt said if the entire coaching staff is dismissed along with Luke, he doesn’t think many players will stay with the team.
That would not be good.
Ole Miss has not been nationally competitive for a while, though. The Rebels last won 10-plus games in 2015. They have five winning seasons since 2010.