Hugh Freeze Named Next Ole Miss Head Coach

Houston Nutt has been replaced as Ole Miss' coach. Athletic director Pete Boone will also leave, though on an indefinite date.

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Hugh Freeze Will Become Ole Miss Football Coach

Arkansas St. Red Wolves head coach Hugh Freeze will become the next coach of the Mississippi Rebels,'s Steven Godfrey confirmed Saturday night. You may recall Mr. Godfrey from such acts as breaking the news of Houston Nutt's firing, along with the news of Pete Boone's dismissal.

Freeze has led Arkansas State to its first-ever 10-win FBS season and its first-ever Sun Belt title. He doesn't have much top-shelf experience, having worked two years at Ole Miss and otherwise at NAIA Lambuth and at a Tennessee high school. He's scored a lot of points along the way, though.

Speaking of Ole Miss, you may best remember Freeze as Micheal Oher's high school coach in The Blind Side.

One other name to eye for Rebels fans: Dave Wommack, defensive coordinator. He currently holds the same position with Freeze, having ran the defenses of Georgia Tech and UNLV in his career.

For more, visit Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion. And here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.


Hugh Freeze May Be Close To Becoming Ole Miss Head Coach

Ole Miss reportedly tried the hard sell on Southern Mississippi head coach Larry Fedora, but may be turning its attention to Hugh Freeze. According to a report on Saturday night, Freeze is expected to meet with Ole Miss officials on Sunday, and will receive an offer to be the Rebels next head coach at that time. Freeze is expected to accept, though nothing is final yet.

The report comes from Rebel Grove and includes information about Ole Miss' reported pursuit of Fedora.

Sources told Saturday Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora rejected an offer from Ole Miss. A source said late Saturday Ole Miss was expected to make one final pitch to Fedora before turning its full attention to Freeze.

This has nothing to do with the Ole Miss opening, but it's kind of amazing. Hugh Freeze could have been a women's basketball coach.

10 years ago, FedEx CEO Fred Smith wanted Memphis to hire women's hoops coach

For more, visit Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion. And here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.


Ole Miss Names Gunter Brewer To Lead Transition Team, Replacing Houston Nutt

Despite the fact that Houston Nutt was fired last week by Ole Miss as its head football coach, he will remain on through the season-ending Egg Bowl to see it through. However, the university will not stand pat on the administrative duties that exist within a college football program and has named wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer as the head of the "transition team" heading into the off-season.

...wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer will handle recruiting and player relations during the period between the Egg Bowl and when a new coach is hired.

"He's going to head up the transition team," athletic director Pete Boone said.

This is Brewer's first year with the school, however he has strong ties to the university. His father, Billy, was head coach of the football team from 1983-93 and remains an active onlooker at practices. Ole Miss hired Brewer as their associate head coach/passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach after six seasons as an assistant with the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

In case you're wondering how strong Brewer's ties are to Ole Miss and its search committee for a new coach (headed by Archie Manning), there's a nice photo of Brewer with Peyton Manning on his slightly-outdated website.

Ole Miss says it would like to have a new coaching staff in place by mid-December.

For more on Gunter Brewer, Houston Nutt and the living, breathing Southern Gothic drama that is Ole Miss, visit Red Cup Rebellion. 


Houston Nutt Fired, Pete Boone To Resign: 'You're Not Far Off,' Departing Coach Promises Ole Miss

Pete Boone's third failed coaching tenure will officially be his last at the University of Mississippi. After an adversarial relationship with David Cutcliffe (the program's most consistent coach in three decades) ended in a hast firing, and despite weathering the entirety of the Ed Orgeron debacle, the stunningly schizoid run of Houston Nutt at Ole Miss was given an official expiration date on Monday, and Boone along with it.

The Rebels fired their third football coach since 2004 on Monday. This time the administration's trigger man, known to have had stilted relationships with all three men, overshadowed a head football coach's dismissal. Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones announced that Boone would step down as athletic director, but would stay up until but not exceeding December 2012. The timetable move is assumed to appease fans frustrated with the overall malaise of the Rebels' "Big Three" sports (a glut we outlined earlier today) while still standing tough against the "Forward Rebels" campaign that has dogged Jones and Boone through various newspaper ads and media outlets. Jones, still young in his tenure as Chancellor, likely wants to send a message that he won't be bullied

Sources have told that it's highly unlikely Boone will stay on until December 2012, and that a replacement will likely be named by next summer. Boone is the chair of the SEC athletic director's association and will see out the remainder of the 2011-'12 academic year.

Jones also announced that Boone will not be involved in the search for a new Rebel coach (Boone famously declared that Nutt would be his "last head coaching hire" in December of 2007), and that a committee co-chaired by former Ole Miss player Archie Manning and FedEx Executive Vice President Mike Glenn. Jones also confirmed that the same committee would chair a search for a new athletic director. Jones said that Manning and Glenn had yet to meet regarding the matter.

When questioned, Jones also responded to the other most notable topic surrounding Ole Miss: the continued controversy among a vocal group of fans and alumni regarding the replacement of the schools' Colonel Rebel on-field mascot with the Mississippi Black Bear. Jones slammed the dissent by stating that "schools with a pig and a chicken for mascots have had plenty of success," and remained steadfast in supporting the student-led vote for the black bear.

As for Nutt, the lame duck coach seemed shaken at first while addressing the media, but quickly launched into trademark proselytizing. He cited Ole Miss' location relative to other SEC schools as a hindrance to recruiting (a fact he used to highlight the school's potential when he was hired in '07) and various injuries (most notably linebacker D.T. Shackelford this spring) and recruiting misfires as a reason for his 6-14 record the last two seasons. Nutt also told the media "you're not far off" repeatedly, in reference to the talent recruited to Ole Miss in Nutt's last two signing classes.

How Ole Miss handles the two-fold hiring process will define the long-term future of the university's athletic identity. Despite the on-field implosion under Nutt since last season, money has poured into the "Forward Together" capital campaign (unofficially titled to respond to dissent groups like "Forward Rebels"), created to address building a brand new basketball arena and bowling in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, among other projects.

In a bizarre turn, Nutt inadvertently endorsed the fund raising efforts when he acknowledged that a program the size and funding of Ole Miss' created a challenge competing in the SEC. "It's like fighting giants out there sometime. Do you think Florida likes having four losses? Do you think Tennessee does? They're going to do everything they can to get better."

Nutt will coach the final three games of Ole Miss' season: this Saturday's homecoming against Louisiana Tech, November 19 hosting undefeated LSU, and the season finale at Mississippi State November 26.

For more on Houston Nutt, Pete Boone and the living, breathing Southern Gothic drama that is Ole Miss, visit Red Cup Rebellion.


Houston Nutt Fired: Ole Miss Confirms Exit, Pete Boone Stepping Down Too

As reported by SB Nation's Steven Godfrey, the Mississippi Rebels have announced football coach Houston Nutt will not remain as head coach beyond the 2011 season. Nutt will remain through the end of the year before stepping down. There's no word yet on his replacement, though Bruce Feldman has reported a committee of Archie Manning's will be in charge of the search.

Nutt commented on his impending exit:

My time at Ole Miss has been very special, and I've enjoyed working with a wonderful group of athletes and the Ole Miss community at large. Change is never easy, but I understand why it's necessary. My attention is on finishing out the 2011 season and winning this Saturday.

Athletic director Pete Boone announced he'll step down at some point within the next year, though the date for his resignation isn't quite as clear.

When Coach Nutt arrived four years ago, I said publicly he would be the last coach I would hire. I meant it. On several occasions over the past year, Chancellor Jones and I have discussed what would happen if a disappointing football season resulted in a coaching change, including whether a change would affect my timetable as athletics director. When I decided we need new leadership in the football program, I knew it was also the right time for new leadership in the athletics department."

For more on Ole Miss, visit Red Cup Rebellion.


Pete Boone To Step Down As Ole Miss Athletic Director

Embattled University of Mississippi athletic director Pete Boone will step down along with head football coach Houston Nutt this afternoon.

Sources confirmed that Boone's role in the search for Ole Miss' next head coach as well as the rest of his duties will either be "reduced or eliminated entirely." Boone has been athletic director at Ole Miss for 13 years, and with Nutt's expected firing today, has overseen the dismissal of three head football coaches (David Cutcliffe, Ed Orgeron) since 2004.

Boone has been the No. 1, and, at times, sole target of the "Forward Rebels" campaign, set up by fans and alumni of Ole Miss to demand a change in the athletic department's management. Ole Miss holds several dubious distinctions in the SEC's three largest revenue generating sports: the Rebels have never played in the SEC Championship game in football (the only SEC Western Division team not to), its baseball team has not reached the College World Series since 1972 despite numerous upgrades to its stadium and facilities, and has the conference's longest NCAA Tournament drought of any mens basketball team (2002).

Several reports have claimed that former Ole Miss football player and CBS analyst Archie Manning will help conduct the search for the Rebels' next head football coach.

The Ole Miss press conference will stream live at Rebel Vision at 3 p.m. ET today.

For more on Ole Miss, visit Red Cup Rebellion.


Houston Nutt Being Fired By Ole Miss: Press Conference Set For 3 P.M. ET

Houston Nutt has been fired by the University of Mississippi as its head football coach, according to sources. Ole Miss will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. CT today to announce that Nutt will step down as head coach.'s Neal McCready is reporting that Nutt will finish the season as head coach.

Nutt's record at Ole Miss in four seasons stands at 24-23 (10-20 SEC), with 18 of those wins coming in his first two years in Oxford. The Rebels have three games remaining: this Saturday's homecoming game against Louisiana Tech, then rivalry games hosting BCS No. 1 ranked LSU on November 19, and the "Egg Bowl" at Mississippi State on November 26. Nutt is 1-2 against Mississippi State as head coach of Ole Miss, and 0-2 against current State head coach Dan Mullen. 

For more information on the Rebels, visit Red Cup Rebellion

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