Ole Miss Football: Mike MacIntyre And Rich Rodriguez Get To Work

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25: Head coache Rich Rodriguez of the Arizona Wildcats reacts on the sidelines during the second half of the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Wildcats 42-30 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25: Head coache Rich Rodriguez of the Arizona Wildcats reacts on the sidelines during the second half of the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Wildcats 42-30 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

New Ole Miss football coordinators Mike MacIntyre and Rich Rodriguez are both excited to get started at their respective positions.

Excitement has built around the recent hires made my Ole Miss football head coach Matt Luke and understandably so. After a dismal 2018 season there were a couple of immediate staff changes and/or vacancies which Matt Luke was looking to fill. After the departures of both Wesley McGriff and Phil Longo diehard Rebels fans were keeping their fingers crossed about who might be the replacements for both positions.

Enter coaches Mike MacIntyre and Rich Rodriguez who were hired by Luke shortly after the 2018 season. Both coaches were former Power-5 head coaches and both were tabbed with national Coach of the Year honors during their tenures as head coaches. Last week both coordinators met with the media and somewhat laid out their plans at their respective coordinators positions.

Proud To Be In Oxford

Ole Miss Rebels
Ole Miss Rebels /

Ole Miss Rebels

Of course, when you bring in coordinators you want coaches who look at the Ole Miss football program as a landing spot and not a stepping stone to something better. Both coaches stated they were excited to be in Oxford and a part of the Ole Miss football program and that should make Rebels fans very happy. Both coaches commented on how well they knew coach Matt Luke and how much they wanted to be a part of Ole Miss football and what Luke has been trying to build in Oxford.

When you look at the resumes of both of coaches you can see both are actually way over-experienced to be coordinators. It is obvious to most college football pundits the same two coaches could have easily ‘held out’ from the positions in Oxford and picked up equally as impressive jobs more prestigious programs or even HC jobs elsewhere.

What They Said

As fans of Ole Miss football most of us are excited to see the additions of two great former head coaches who find themselves as coordinators in Oxford. Trust me, if you can’t get excited over these two hires then you should research both and you will be. Both coaches have phenomenal resumes and bring a wealth of experience and football knowledge to Oxford.

Let’s look at their initial pressers and further into what they had to say. Special thanks to OMSpirit.com and their amazing contributors for the quotes. First up was defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre and he expressed how happy he was to not only be back in Oxford but again to reunite with Matt Luke.

"“We loved it here the first time and am sure we will love it this time. This is my third time working with Matt (Luke). He is a super coach and super person and I’m excited about where we are going. I’m fortunate and honored to be here.” ~Coach Mike MacIntyre, Ole Miss DC"

Ole Miss football fans have been wondering when we would have a really good defensive mind on that side of the ball. 2019 will prove to be much better than 2018 with Mike Mac at the DC position. Mac has the resume and the knowledge to turn around the Ole Miss defense. Before you question Mike Mac in 2019 consider how much better 2018 could have been with him.

"“I’ve kept my hand in there hard in defense. We would also have clinics at Colorado and bring in different defensive staffs there. I feel like I am on the cutting edge of modern defense and understand it.” Coach Mike MacIntyre, Ole Miss DC"

As expected we’ve already seen some major changes in OIe Miss football and the  progression of the entire program. 2019 is expected to be a much better season and thankfully it is for the hire of Mike MacIntyre as defensive coordinator.

"“We will work hard to get better and see where that takes us. Our goal will be to get better every day, every practice, every chalk session, every game. If we do that, things will work out. I want Matt and Ole Miss to be successful and I am going to do everything in my power to help make that happen.” ~Coach Mike NacIntyre, Ole Miss DC"

While many Ole Miss football fans have taken the ‘show me’ approach some Rebels fans have literally took the ‘what if’ approach when it come to the new DC hire by Matt Luke. You have to ask yourself,”What if we had a defensive coordinator in 2018?” Answer simply, Ole Miss would have had a much better record and we’d be even more dejected for not playing in a bowl game.  At least in 2018 we didn’t get there and we didn’t deserve it.

A Hunger for More

As big a Ole Miss Rebels fan I am I refuse to accept the best of this Ole Miss team has been weighed and measured fairly. As a program over the years this team has been just not a winner in the SEC but also one of the premier programs in the college football postseason. All Ole Miss fans wanted much more on the field, thanks to the NCAA in 2018 it did not happen, Don’t worry, one day you’ll look back and see it was worth it.

Coach Rich Rodriguez is another coach hired by Matt Luke to help ensure a better and more productive offense on the field. Last season we watched as the leading offense in the SEC could move the ball between the 20s but had a very difficult time converting most of those red-zone trips into TDs. We should be happy to know we have one of the greatest ‘spread offense’ minds in college football.

"“I’m really excited for my family and I to be a part of the Ole Miss family. This opportunity came up and Coach Luke called me. I didn’t know Matt (Luke), but I knew some of the guys on his staff. After just two minutes of conversation with Coach Luke, I wanted to look into this further and have the opportunity to talk to him about it. It worked out great.” ~Coach Rich Rodriguez, Ole Miss OC"

Naturally Ole Miss football fans know what a great city Oxford is and what a great community of fans which make it up. In his first presser coach Rodriguez reiterated coach Mike MacIntyre’s sentiments about Oxford, the community and the Ole Miss football program.

"“Just in the few days I’ve been here I feel great about the community, the staff, the athletic department. It is a great opportunity for me. I am happy to be back on the grass working again and coaching again. It has been a long year or so. Hopefully I can bring some success to the program. I am excited for the program and the direction where it is going and where it will be in the future.” ~Coach Rich Rodriguez, Ole Miss OC"

Rich Rodriguez mentioned what a long year it had been for him being away from the game and his excitement to be back on the field. While Rodriguez has spent much of his career as a head coach he spoke of his new opportunity and how he might help the Ole Miss staff and the Ole Miss football program as a coordinator.

"“Maybe as a former head coach I can give Matt and the program a kind of a world view of everything and I’m sure Mike MacIntyre can as well. I have a role and because of the respect I have for Matt, Ross (Bjork), and the department I don’t think that will be difficult. Being around the coaches these last few days I know this will be a lot of fun.” ~Coach Rich Rodriguez, Ole Miss OC"


In many Ole Miss Rebels opinions this is and exciting time to be part of the Ole Miss football program going forward. It is obvious coach Matt Luke loves Ole Miss and wants to leave a legacy. With the two hires of MacIntyre and Rodriguez it shows Matt Luke wants Ole Miss to be a better product on the field. Rebel Nation should welcome these two coaches as improvements compared to what we’ve seen over the past few seasons.

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While Ole Miss football fans have a hard time agreeing on very much of anything and some fans aren’t sold on the coordinator hires I believe we can all agree this was a great idea from Matt Luke. Hang in there Rebels and lets see how this all plays out. Please be sure to check back here at OHT for more on both of these great coaches or you can always visit and like the OHT Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. Welcome to Oxford Mike Mac and Rich Rod! Hotty Toddy!