Ole Miss fires football coach Matt Luke after three seasons

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Dec. 2 (UPI) — The University of Mississippi has fired football coach Matt Luke after three seasons.

Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter announced the decision Sunday, following the Rebel’s season-ending loss to Mississippi State Thursday in Mississippi State, Miss. Ole Miss lost five of their final six games to end the season at 4-8.

“After evaluating the overall trajectory of our football program, we did not see enough momentum on the field and determined a change is necessary in order for our student-athletes to compete at the highest level,” Carter said in a news release.

“While improvements were evident in certain aspects of the program, we are judged ultimately by our record, and, unfortunately, we did not meet the standard of success that we expect from our program.”

Ole Miss hired Luke as full-time head coach in 2017, after he began his tenure as interim coach a season earlier. He led the Rebels to a 15-21 record in three seasons.

“We will always be grateful to coach Luke for his leadership, particularly from a recruiting, academic and overall culture standpoint,” Carter said. “At the same time, winning is important, and we know that we can compete for championships at Ole Miss.”

Carter has a news conference planned for noon Monday. The Rebels have launched a search to find Luke’s replacement.