Mississippi coach Matt Luke gestures during the team's NCAA college football game against Mississippi State on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, in Starkville, Miss. (Bruce Newman/The Oxford Eagle via AP)

AP source: Ole Miss fires Luke after 3 seasons, 15-21 record

December 01, 2019 - 8:59 pm

Mississippi fired football coach Matt Luke, three days after his third non-winning season ended with an excruciating rivalry game loss, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Sunday night.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school had not yet made an official announcement. Luke, a former Ole Miss offensive lineman, was elevated to interim head coach about two weeks before preseason practice started in 2017 when Mississippi fired Hugh Freeze.

Luke guided the Rebels, who were already banned from the postseason by the NCAA, to a 6-6 record that helped him land a four-year deal through 2021. With the program facing another bowl ban in 2018 and other NCAA sanctions, Luke and the Rebels went 5-7.

Ole Miss finished this season 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference, including a 21-20 loss on Thanksgiving night to Mississippi State. Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore scored a potential tying touchdown with seconds left in the Egg Bowl, but was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after he pretended to urinate in the end zone like a dog.

The Rebels’ kicker then missed an extra point that was 15 yards longer than the usual distance because of the penalty.

The 43-year-old Luke is the third Southeastern Conference coach to get fired this season, joining Arkansas’ Chad Morris and Missouri’s Barry Odom, and the fourth head coach around the country to lose his job Sunday.

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