AD Ross Bjork reveals how he'll go about the Ole Miss coaching search
When former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze resigned amid a major scandal earlier this offseason, athletic director Ross Bjork acted quickly in naming Matt Luke the team’s interim coach.
The Rebels will play out the 2017 season under Luke, but whether or not he’s the long-term answer remains to be seen, as Bjork will evaluate the school’s options this year.
Bjork explained to Ben Garrett on the “Talk of Champions” podcast that he will try to play this year’s coaching search close to the vest as he attempts to determine whether Luke should be named the full-time coach or if an outside hire would be best:
“Confidentiality is key,” Bjork told Garrett. “A lot of times when you’re in a short window, because you’re going so fast, you just go. In this case, we’re going to have so much time, that nothing can leak out, nothing can be speculated, or ‘sources.’ Right now, if anything is leaked, I would leak it. I would be the source, and that’s not happening so I think we have to have a very, very careful process.”
Bjork said the school needs to make sure it finds a coach who can handle the SEC spotlight, as Ole Miss is a popular program in the state of Mississippi:
“There is no question that the job is so big, especially in the SEC,” he said. “Especially in a state like ours where people want to touch and feel the head coach, we’re going to need a special leader to make sure that they can do all of those things off the field, while making sure that inside the football building that we’re clicking on all cylinders.”
Luke will have his work cut out for him if he wants to earn the full-time job. However, with the scandals and negativity surrounding the Ole Miss program in recent years, Bjork may find that he has trouble landing a big-name coaching candidate.