The attention of the college football universe is on the Ole Miss Rebels, after Hugh Freeze resigned (before being fired) earlier this week. While there is plenty to wade through with the investigation and general unrest in Oxford, the Rebels still have to hire a head coach and people are rushing to weigh in on who that might be.
Betting odds are already available and some interesting candidates emerge from the handicapping world. Beyond that, Adam Rittenberg of ESPN highlighted two men that would be very interesting at Ole Miss and one of them is former Texas and current USF head coach Charlie Strong.
Charlie Strong would bring discipline and an exceptional recruiting résumé with him, not to mention knowledge and insight into what it takes to win in the SEC. Ole Miss would be foolish not to call him.
It is hard to deny just how snug the fit would be with Strong in Oxford but, at the same time, he just landed at USF after being ousted at Texas. Within the confines of the same article, ESPN puts forth Memphis head coach Mike Norvell as something of an “ace in the hole” for Ole Miss.
But the candidate who checks nearly all the boxes is Memphis coach Mike Norvell. He is personable, has a good reputation and credentials, runs a similar offense, and is close to Ole Miss geographically. He is young and has not been a head coach for long, but another successful season and he is sure to have bigger opportunities awaiting him.
The geographic ties between Memphis and Ole Miss can’t be ignored and Norvell, as noted above, is considered to be a fast-rising prospect from a coaching perspective. He isn’t the biggest name but, considering the madness taking place in Oxford, the Rebels probably can’t be overly worried about luring someone that possesses that kind of cache. Simply hiring the best coach available is the right path and, if that is Norvell, it makes a ton of sense for both parties.
Offensive coordinator Matt Luke is currently serving as the interim head coach for the Rebels.