Hugh Freeze resigned from his head football coaching position at Ole Miss on July 20th of this year. It seems so long ago now. Fall camp has come and gone. The season has started, we’ve made it through the bye week, all without Hugh Freeze at the helm of the Ole Miss Football program. Fans had grown fond of Freeze, he was very likable, personable, a guy you really wanted to succeed, until July 20th, 2017. The rumors had grown so loud the administration couldn’t ignore them any longer. Phone records were looked into. Discoveries were made. Phone calls were found. Without getting into those details, it spelled the end for Hugh Freeze’s coaching career in Oxford.
Here we are, 2 months later, and the All American good ol boy Matt Luke is leading the program into war against the Crimson Tide. Luke is a former rebel himself. Has been the offensive line coach for Ole Miss for the past 5 years, and bleeds red and blue. He wants the job, and he wants it bad. You could say he is this years Ed Orgeron, and I don’t mean that as an insult.
The team hasn’t fallen apart yet, so you could say Luke has done a well enough job, but if we are being realistic, Luke wont transition from Interim to Full time in Oxford next year. He will most likely be thanked, patted on the back, given a nice shadow box, and receive a great recommendation letter to wherever he applies to next.
This brings us to one of our bigger story lines this football season, the Ole Miss Coaching Hot Board.
We at Armchair Ole Miss will take a look at candidates that have been mentioned for the job, and we will break down the good, the bad, and give our opinion.
This week we will take a look at Frank Wilson, the current head coach at the University of Texas at San Antonio, UTSA.
Wilson has made stops all through the SEC. He has coached at Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU, Southern Miss, and has now landed the head coaching gig at UTSA. He is 43 years old, and is 9-7 as a head coach. He has UTSA 3-0 so far this season.
Frank Wilson is known as a recruiter. In 2011, Rivals.com named Wilson the National Recruiter of the Year. NFL.com named Wilson the top recruiter in all of college football in 2014, and in 2015, Scout.com recognized Wilson as the SEC Recruiter of the Year. He was the key to landing Leonard Fournette, 5 star running back, Anthony Johnson, 5 star defensive tackle, Jarvis Landry, 5 star wide receiver, and Tyrann Mathieu, a Pro Bowl safety. Recruiting is his biggest selling point on his resume. He is putting together respectable classes at UTSA as well. If you bring in Frank Wilson, he will fill the cupboard with talent, which is a win if you are Ole Miss. It helps to win games, and even if Wilson doesn’t win games, the next coach to come after him will have plenty to work with.
The biggest bad for Frank Wilson is all of the uncertainty. This is only his second year as a head coach. He didn’t have the greatest record his first year at UTSA, so it is important to keep tabs on him this year to see how much his team does improve. Even with the experience he will gain at UTSA, will he be able to translate that to an SEC gig? They are two completely different animals, although him being around it for almost his whole career will definitely help.
I could get on board with the Frank Wilson hire. He’s young, he’s energetic, he gets his players pumped. He’s a fresh face. He is a GREAT, let me say that again, he is a GREAT recruiter, something I can not emphasize enough. I think it is extremely important for the next hire to be able to get talent to Oxford. He will need to capitalize on the loaded 2019 Mississippi class, and build momentum from there. Like I mentioned earlier, even if he doesn’t succeed on the field, it is important that a new coach coming in after him has talent to work with. It would make the next 3-5 years a much easier transition. Now Wilson definitely isn’t my top pick to be the new head man in Oxford, but I could definitely get behind the hire if the first tier of available coaches passed on the opportunity. –Chandler Hemphill
I think he’s an up and comer with a bright future. He has SEC regional connections which could help him, but shouldn’t be a deciding factor. A new coach can come in and develop relationships. He would possibly be a good hire, but he wouldn’t be my favorite. I think Ole Miss fans in general would be naive to lock in on Wilson now. There’s no telling who all would potentially be available. Ole Miss needs to keep their list of candidates longer while the season plays out. –John Gillon