While the search is on for a new head coach of the Ole Miss football program, defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre will take on the role of interim coach.
Ole Miss is not playing in a bowl game this season, so MacIntyre’s main objective, for the time being, is keeping as good a face as possible for the program in recruiting efforts. That is key because the early signing period is rapidly approaching (Dec. 18) and Ole Miss, like any other school looking for a new head coach at this time of the year, is hoping to have a new head coach in place as soon as possible in order to manage to save a recruiting class inspire of a transition.
MacIntyre does have previous head coaching experience, of course, with Colorado and San Jose State before that. MacIntyre joined the Ole Miss staff prior to the 2019 season, along with offensive coordinator and former Arizona, Michigan, and West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez. MacIntyre previously was a part of the coaching staff at Ole Miss from 1999 through 2002 before taking a position with the Dallas Cowboys in 2003. Rodriguez is still currently a part of the Ole Miss program as well, at least for now.
Ole Miss officially parted ways with former head coach Matt Luke on Sunday after three seasons. Luke started as the interim head coach of the Rebels following the dismissal of Hugh Freeze (currently the head coach at Liberty, who is bowl-eligible this season). With Ole Miss in a tough spot with the NCAA at the time, Luke was a good solution for the short term given his Ole Miss roots and familiarity with the program, but struggles on the field the past three seasons ultimately led to Ole Miss looking to find someone new to provide a spark for the program.
Whether or not MacIntyre will be considered for the head coaching position on a full-time basis remains to be seen.
Helmet sticker to OM Spirit.
As we approach the end of the college football regular season, it’s just about time for the coaching carousel to get spinning once again. A few of programs have already made some coaching changes (Arkansas, Rutgers, and Florida State), but it does not appear any changes will be made at Ole Miss. According to a report from Football Scoop, Matt Luke is expected to remain the head coach in Oxford, Mississippi in 2020.
Not too surprisingly, the cost of a buyout is a key piece of information in this particular story. While the price to buy its way out of Luke’s contract is $6.5 million, the actual cost to move on from Luke is nearly doubled when Ole Miss accounts for the buyout costs of Luke’s assistants. Namely, offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez and defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre. Rodriguez and MacIntyre have head coaching experience and were sensible additions to the staff for a first-time head coach like Luke. But with experience, comes cost. According to Football Scoop, the buying out of contracts to Luke, Rodriguez, and MacIntyre could climb to over $12 million if Ole Miss is to make a change.
Another reason Ole Miss may hold off on making any changes with the football program are due to the school actively focusing on naming a new full-time athletics director. The common line of thinking is it makes more sense to allow your next full-time AD to make the call on the head coach of a football program, ensuring a higher likelihood of positive chemistry between coach and AD that leads to everyone being on the same page for the good of the program moving forward.
So, between the buyout cost and the ongoing search for an AD, Matt Luke appears to be in a pretty stable position at this point in time.
At risk of having a second-straight losing season, and the fifth losing season in six years on the job, Colorado will be moving on from head coach Mike MacIntyre. According to a report by Chris Low of ESPN.com, MacIntyre had been informed by the school he would not be returning to coach the Buffs in 2019. Colorado has since confirmed this news.
MacIntyre will not coach Colorado’s final game this weekend against California. An interim coach will be named.
“I want to thank Mike for six seasons of hard work and dedication to the program, both on and off the field,” Colorado athletic director Rick George said in a released statement. “There’s no doubt that the 2016 season was magical, and it appeared we were headed back to taking our place among the nation’s elite. However, analyzing the direction of the program over the last two years, I felt this is the necessary time to make a change.”
Colorado owes MacIntyre $10.3 million on his remaining contract through the end of 2021. The buyout would be reduced by the amount of MacIntyre’s new contract if he is hired by another college football program or an NFL team. The buyout will be paid off in monthly payments for the next three years, according to the release from Colorado.
MacIntyre took on the head coaching job at Colorado prior to the 2013 season. After three losing years in Boulder, MacIntyre and Colorado turned in a 10-win season that saw the program play for the Pac-12 championship in 2016. Colorado ascended as high as No. 9 in the AP poll that season before finishing the year at No. 17 for the first AP ranking at the end of a season for the first time since 2002, and the highest end-of-the-year ranking since finishing No. 9 in 2001.
The problem for MacIntyre was an inability to build off a successful 2016 campaign. Colorado went 5-7 last season and come into the final game of the season with a record of 5-6. Colorado needs to win a game at California in order to clinch bowl eligibility, although it may be unexpected MacIntyre would coach the bowl game should Colorado manage to go bowling this season.
This story has been updated from its original posting to reflect Colorado’s confirmation of the news and to provide additional details provided by Colorado.
UPDATE (2:47 p.m. ET): Quarterback coach Kurt Roper will take on the role of interim head coach.
Colorado lost for the first time late Saturday on the road at USC. The result was not entirely puzzling given Colorado may have been due for a loss and USC can be difficult to top in Los Angeles, but a decision to go for a two-point conversion after a late Colorado touchdown cut into the USC lead left many watching scratching their heads. After the game, Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre explained the rationale behind the two-point conversion attempt, and it was rather simple.
MacIntyre didn’t know Colorado scored a touchdown and thought it was a first-and-goal situation.
The two-point conversion attempt came following a Steven Montez 19-yard touchdown run with 3:23 to play. The touchdown cut the USC lead to 31-20. A successful two-point conversion would have made it a nine-point game whereas an extra point would have created a 10-point deficit for Colorado. You could argue Colorado still needed two scores in the final minutes anyway and a two-point try would allow for the possibility of a win. The conventional logic, however, suggests there is a better win probability if you only need a touchdown and a field goal. Not that Colorado had a great chance either way to come back and win (which of course, they did not), but the decision to go for two points was a bizarre one. And now we know why.
So, was MacIntyre given incorrect information on the field? Shouldn’t somebody on Colorado have known the team just scored a touchdown, be it an official, a staffer, or one of the players on the field? Who is to blame for this messy situation? The fault should fall on the shoulders of the head coach here. It may not have ultimately altered the outcome of the game, since Colorado did recover the onside kick after all fo this but failed to pick up a first down.
It did not take long for people to start talking about who the next head coach at Ole Miss will be following the Thursday night resignation of Hugh Freeze. And somehow, one of the betting favorites has quickly become former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley.
As noted by Rocky Top Talk, the Tennessee blog on SB Nation, the former Vols coach and current assistant with the Dallas Cowboys is listed as the second most-favored coach to take over at Ole Miss, listed at +500 according to BetOnline. SMU head coach Chad Morris is the current betting favorite on the betting website, with Morris listed at +300 to be the next coach of the Rebels.
Other names on the board include former LSU head coach Les Miles (+800), and former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly (+1400). FAU head coach Lane Kiffin has been having fun trolling about the Ole Miss fallout on Twitter, yet he is also on the board at +1600.
For what it is worth, interim head coach Matt Luke has also been given odds to keep the job, and he is listed at +1200.
Here are the latest odds as listed by BetOnline;
- Chad Morris +300
- Derek Dooley +500
- Blake Anderson +700
- Les Miles +800
- Mike Norvell +1000
- Brent Venables +1200
- Scott Frost +1400
- Chip Kelly +1400
- Neal Brown +1600
- Lane Kiffin +1600
- Mike MacIntyre +1600
- Charlie Strong +1600
- Willie Fritz +2000
- Bryan Harsin +2000
- Bobby Petrino +2500
So place your bets wisely. But if you choose to place your money on Dooley, you might as well just send me your money instead.