Ole Miss will be looking for a coach that will help lead the Rebels back to an SEC contender despite current NCAA sanctions and possibly more to come. While the position is not considered in the upper echelon when it comes to SEC coaches, the Rebels should be able to hire someone solid.
One college football insider has a list of names, including two Power 5 coaches, that are good possibilities to take over for interim coach Matt Luke, who replaced Hugh Freeze after he was fired to due a pattern of personal misconduct.
Look for an established Power 5 coach like Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre to end up here. [Mike] Leach could end up in the mix, as sources at Texas Tech indicated that Ole Miss officials have called around to research Leach.
MacIntyre has helped rebuild the Colorado program from the ground, earning a trip to the Pac-12 title game last season as the champion of the South division. He also has roots in Oxford, serving as the Rebels wide receiver coach from 1999-00 and then as defensive backs coach from 2001-02.
Leach, an intriguing choice due to his high-powered passing game and willingness to speak his mind on any topic, has helped the Cougars to three bowl games during his 6 years in Pullman, including starting 6-0 this season before losing to California last weekend.
Per Thamel, the Rebels could also take a look at Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz, who was an assistant at South Carolina from 1999-2004 before becoming the head coach at East Carolina, South Florida and now for the Bulldogs.
One other alternative that Thamel mentions is Air Force’s Troy Calhoun, who would bring his “credible off-field reputation,” something the Rebels are in dire need after the actions of Freeze and his staff that landed Ole Miss in trouble.
Either way Ole Miss goes, the university will no doubt throw a lot of money and a long-term contract at the prospective hire to help lure them to a program that will take some time to recover from sanctions and the rehabilitation of its image.
Ole Miss will do its due diligence, as the next head coaching hire it makes will prove extremely important. It will be interesting to follow the process.