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Ole Miss decides to keep Gulfport’s Matt Luke as football coach

Ole Miss has named Matt Luke its permament head coach Sunday. Luke holds the Golden Egg trophy following the Rebels’ 31-28 win over Mississippi State.
Ole Miss has named Matt Luke its permament head coach Sunday. Luke holds the Golden Egg trophy following the Rebels’ 31-28 win over Mississippi State. Associated Press

Ole Miss removed the interim tag off Matt Luke and named the Gulfport native its new head coach.

The school announced the hiring Sunday night and told the players. A press conference will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday to make it official.

Luke, a former Gulfport High standout, served as interim coach since Hugh Freeze’s resignation on July 20.

Luke guided Ole Miss to a 6-6 season and a 31-28 victory over Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving. The Rebels have a self-imposed bowl ban this season. After the Egg Bowl win, several Rebel players campaigned Luke get the job.

“Just the love he has for us is amazing,” Rebels wide receiver A.J. Brown said. “We have been through so much as a team. We can talk to him about anything. He is always there for us when we need him.”

Luke called Ole Miss his dream job and has family ties. Luke walked on at Ole Miss. His father, Tommy, played for Ole Miss, and brother, Tom was a quarterback.

Before the promotion to interim coach, Luke previously served as the Rebels’ co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. He lettered at Ole Miss from 1995-1998. After serving as a student assistant at Ole Miss in 1999, Luke also made coaching stops at Murray State, Duke and Tennessee.

Ole Miss can now shift its focus to an ongoing NCAA Investigation. In two Notice of Allegations letters from the NCAA, Ole Miss is accused of 21 charges of academic, booster and recruiting fraud and misconduct. Seventeen of the charges are Level I, which are the most serious. Among the charges, the NCAA accused Freeze of a lack of institutional control. The school already self-imposed multiple penalties, including a bowl ban.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

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