6 quotes from Matt Luke's introduction as Ole Miss interim head coach

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday July 24, 2017

An emotional Matt Luke was introduced as Ole Miss’ interim head coach on Monday.

Luke, a former Ole Miss player and assistant under multiple head coaches, takes over following Hugh Freeze’s resignation last week amid personal conduct issues. He takes over a team about to report for camp, with the season a month away. It will be a tough task, as previous interim head coaches in these situations have not fared well.

Here were six notable comments from Luke:

- When Luke says it’s a dream job, he means it.

“I can’t believe I’ve spent 14 years of my life as a player or coach here. I can truly tell you this is my dream job. It’s a job I’ve been preparing my whole life for. I feel more strongly than ever that I’m the right guy to run the program.”

- South Carolina pursued Luke for its offensive line job in the offseason, but he stayed in Oxford.

“My whole family lives here. My wife is from Oxford, her family lives here. My mom and dad are here. My brother’s here. This is something that’s very, very special to me. You can’t put a price tag on family. I’m so excited to have the opportunity. You never want to take those times for granted. Excited to have the opportunity to be around family and be at my university.”

- There’s an open spot on the staff he expects to fill by the end of this week.

“I’m planning on hiring an offensive line coach, so I can focus on being the head coach.”

- But there won’t be many changes.

“The staff’s going to remain in tact; 95 percent of everything is going to stay the same. But I plan on bringing my passion and energy along with it.”

- Luke has a new offensive coordinator in Phil Longo and new defensive coordinator in Wes McGriff. Defensively, he’s been impressed by McGriff.

“The No. 1 thing was discipline. You noticed that out of the chute. They’re all wearing the same things, and they’re disciplined. The way they set their helmets, the little things. I love how he keeps it simple, and they do something fast and physical every day. They keep it simple and play hard-nosed football.”

- Quarterback Shea Patterson will have a lot on his shoulders, with the fewest returning starters in the SEC.

“He was one of the first ones to come up to me and say, ‘Coach, let’s go win some football games.’ I think he is excited about getting out there and playing, putting all the distractions behind him and playing football.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.