The weekend began with an Ole Miss victory over Mississippi State in the 114th meeting of the two schools and ended with a couple of program-defining decisions for both schools.
On Sunday, reports of Dan Mullen’s departure from Mississippi State began to trickle in, and the reports were eventually confirmed that Mullen would be accepting the head coaching position at the University of Florida. Mullen previously served as the Gators OC from 2005-2008 under HC Urban Myer. Mullen brought the Bulldogs to new heights as the head coach, reaching seven bowl games during his tenure which lasted from 2009 through the 2017 regular season. MSU President Mark Keenum released a statement thanking Mullen for his time at the University and sending on his way to Gainesville with well wishes.
“We’ve built a football program at Mississippi State that has enjoyed unprecedented success over the last nine seasons. Dan Mullen has been the catalyst of that success, and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors. It’s a tribute to Dan and to MSU that he has drawn the interest of several premier football programs around the country. Dan’s tenure at MSU coincides with my own, and we’ve had a chance to do some special things together for our loyal fans and friends.
“In anticipation of this development, MSU has already begun the process of an orderly and expeditious transition to new and exciting leadership for our football program. I have shared my vision with Athletics Director John Cohen, and I am confident that John will move quickly and decisively to fill our coaching vacancy with the best possible person to build on the success of our program.”
After the news broke of Mullen’s departure from Starkville, news broke from Oxford as well. Ole Miss decided to make a coaching move of their own, choosing to remove the interim tag from Matt Luke and make him the permanent coach of the program. AD Ross Bjork outlined what the team was looking for in a permanent head coach and much to the satisfaction of many Rebel players; Luke was selected after the search.
During his introductory press conference, Luke discussed it means to him to have the opportunity to be the head coach at the school we here have played and coached at for so many years.
"Ole Miss is a destination job, not just my dream job, and I am truly honored to be the head coach of the University of Mississippi." https://t.co/08FO7j1Pwp
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 27, 2017