Ole Miss and new Athletic Director Keith Carter announced Sunday Evening that head coach Matt Luke is no longer the head coach. The announcement comes just weeks after the program expressed the urge to stick with Luke in the 2020 season.
Thursday concluded Luke’s third season as head coach of the Rebels. He went 15-21 overall and just 6-18 in conference play. His record against SEC West opponents saw only a 3-15 record. Against rivals LSU, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt Luke managed a 3-6 record, two coming against Vanderbilt.
Luke was appointed the interim head coach in 2017 after the abrupt departure of former coach Hugh Freeze. He inherited a program under heavy sanctions and scrutiny from the NCAA.
Luke struggled to win over the fans as his tenure continued. Despite retaining respectable recruiting classes amidst the sanctions, Luke’s win totals dropped each year from six to five, to four.
The final season saw one-possession losses in five of the Rebels’ eight losses. The inability to win these close games angered an already disgruntled fan base.
The final loss of the season to in-state rival Mississippi State may have been the event that ultimately sealed Luke’s fate. The one-point loss in the closing seconds was due in large part to an unsportsmanlike conduct on a Rebel player after what had the potential to be the game tying touchdown.
“From Our Haus to Yours”