CBS Sports: Ole Miss fires coach Matt Luke, per reports

Published: Dec. 1, 2019 at 8:27 PM EST
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Black Sunday came for coaches across college football, and Matt Luke was unable to avoid it. Ole Miss fired its head football coach after he completed a 4-8 (2-6 SEC) mark in 2019, which concluded with a disappointing 21-20 loss to rival Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, according to 247Sports and The Athletic's Bruce Feldman.

An Ole Miss assistant, while not confirming Luke's ouster, told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd that the coaching staff has been called off the road from recruiting. A school plane was being sent to gather a group of Ole Miss assistants currently recruiting in an SEC hotbed.

"Matt Luke is not a good guy, he's a great guy," said the assistant, who did want to be identified.

Luke, who took over as interim coach in 2017 after Hugh Freeze was forced to resign before the season, finishes 15-21 (6-18 SEC) at Ole Miss as the Rebels decided to retain him following a respectable 6-6 (3-5 SEC) campaign. However, Ole Miss never finished better than sixth in the SEC West under his leadership, and it did not make a bowl the last two seasons after being ineligible for one in 2017 due to NCAA penalties stemming from Freeze's tenure.

Even Ole Miss' victories under Luke came against teams with a combined .379 record. Four of his six SEC wins came against Arkansas and Vanderbilt, and his teams went 1-2 against rival Mississippi State. The Rebels were 5-11 in games against all of their rivals.

What isn't known is whether Luke's fortunes may have been different had Ole Miss won the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving. The Rebels put together a touchdown drive down seven points in the fourth quarter, scoring a touchdown with 4 seconds left. It was then that Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore pantomimed a urinating dog as part of a TD celebration that drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. That backed the extra point up 15 yards, and kicker Luke Logan missed the kick. Both the school and Moore released apologies for the incident on Friday.

Luke is the third SEC coach that has been fired this season, joining Arkansas' Chad Morris and Missouri's Barry Odom.

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